Curriculum and Instruction

William Randolph Hearst Foundation United States Senate Youth Program

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.

The Washington, DC segment of the program will take place from March 7-14, 2015.

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 (2014–2015) 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. A signed Word or PDF version of the application form
    Word application form Word document icon (50KB) | PDF application form PDF icon (153KB)
  2. Student transcript/standardized test data
  3. A student essay on a significant issue or problem before the United States Congress. The student must (1) identify and describe the issue or problem; (2) state major points of view on the matter expressed by members of the 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 an essay submitted previously.
    NOTE: The essay must not exceed 3 pages, double spaced in Arial 12 font.
  4. A student statement of leadership activities on a separate sheet of paper that describe activities and interests which 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.
  5. Resume (Extra Curricula Activities)
  6. A letter of recommendation from the high school principal and/or designee.

The student application form must be postmarked on or before
Friday, October 3, 2014.

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 on Friday, November 7, 2014. Partial reimbursement for travel expenses may be available.

2014 United States Senate Youth Program Students Selected

Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand today announced the names of the two New York students who have been selected as delegates to the 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 8 – 15, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Benjamin Chasan of Plainview and Priscilla Guo of Forest Hills were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 52nd annual Washington Week.

Benjamin Chasan attends Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School and serves as the Student Body president. He is also president of his school’s Law Club and serves on the executive board of the Teens as Leaders community service club. He is a member of the National, Science, Spanish and Business Honor Societies, and has taken college level courses at Georgetown University. He has served as an intern for legislators in the Nassau County Legislature and New York State Assembly, and was a Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge national finalist. Benjamin is interested in law and government.

Priscilla Guo attends Hunter College High School and was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as a high school representative on the New York City Youth Board. She works with Commissioner Mullgrav to advise the Department of Youth and Community Development for youth programs. Priscilla is president and founder of the Girl Up and UNICEF clubs, president of the Science Club, and a volunteer at the Dominico-American Society of Queens. Priscilla wants to be a senator for the state of New York.

Chosen as alternates to the 2014 program were Benjamin Reytblat, a resident of Staten Island, who attends Staten Island Technical High School and Sally Yi, a resident of Williamsville, who attends Williamsville East High School.

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each of the 104 student delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds are utilized.

The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s delegates were designated by Dr. John King, Commissioner of Education.

Last Updated: May 23, 2014