Curriculum and Instruction

William Randolph Hearst Foundation United States Senate Youth Program

Press Release about 2015 Senate Youth Representatives from New York State

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Application Process

Each year, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation external link icon, in cooperation with the United States Senate and the education departments of all the states, sponsors the United States Senate Youth Program. Two student leaders from each state and the District of Columbia are selected to participate in a week-long government leadership program in Washington, DC (all expenses paid). The students engage in a series of seminars and briefings with Senators and members of the House of Representatives, and meet with officials of the executive and judicial branches of government. Each student delegate will also receive a one-time $5,000 college scholarship, provided that two full courses in United States, government, history, and/or political science are taken by the student at an accredited institution during the student’s future college or university career. See United States Senate Youth Program for more program details.

The Washington, DC segment of the program will take place from March 5-12, 2016.

The principal of a New York State high school may select only one candidate for this statewide competition. Any high school junior or senior is eligible. Districts with more than one high school can nominate a candidate from each high school. The nominee must currently (2015–2016) be serving in an elected capacity in any one of the following student government offices:

  • Student body president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer
  • Class president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer
  • Student council representative

A student who is a representative to a district, regional or state-level civic or education organization may also be nominated.

Students must submit: 

  1. An application form signed by the building principal
    Word application form Word document icon (51KB)
  2. Student transcript/standardized test data
  3. A student essay on a significant currently debated issue or problem before the United States Congress. The student must (1) identify and describe the controversy surrounding the issue or problem, (2) state major points of view on the matter expressed by members of Congress and others, and (3) take a position on the issue or problem. The position should be supported by specific evidence and reasoning. References must be cited.
    Students applying for a second time may not use a previously submitted essay.
    NOTE: The essay must not exceed 4 pages, double spaced in Arial 12 font, between 1000 and 1200 words; the word count must appear at the bottom of the page.
  4. A student statement of leadership activities, on a separate sheet of paper, that describe activities and interests that demonstrate the student’s leadership qualities and activities at school and/or in the community. Activities that demonstrate the student’s interest in the political process of governance should be emphasized.
    NOTE: The essay must not exceed 1 page, double spaced in Arial 12 font; it may not exceed 300 words.
  5. Resume (Extra Curricula Activities)
  6. A letter of recommendation from the high school principal.

The student application form must be postmarked on or before
Friday, October 2, 2015.

Special Notes

  • If any of the above is missing from the final application packet, the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
  • If a school district has more than one high school, each high school may submit a nomination to the United States Senate Youth Program. 
  • If a high school submits more than one nomination, neither nomination will be considered.
  • Applications must have adequate postage.
  • In the event that an applicant becomes a semifinalist, the student must be able to come to Albany for a personal interview. Partial reimbursement for travel expenses may be available.


Last Updated: May 11, 2015