Curriculum and Instruction

Announcing the 2009-10 William Randolph Hearst Foundation United States Senate Youth Program

Each year the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, 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, D. C. (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, D.C. segment of the program will take place March 6-13, 2010.

The principal or designee 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 (2009– 2010) 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:

  • A signed application form word document
  • Student transcript/standardized test data
  • A 600-800 word 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.
  • 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.
  • A letter of recommendation from the high school principal and/or designee
  • The student application form must be postmarked on or before Friday, October 9, 2009

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.

Important 2009-2010 United States Senate Youth Program Dates

  • October 9, 2009 - Student Application forms and essays due
  • November 9, 2009 - Student Interviews
  • 48th Annual United States Senate Youth Program that will take place in Washington, D.C. March 6-13, 2010


Note: In the event that an applicant becomes a semifinalist, the student must come to Albany for a personal interview on Monday, November 9, 2009. Partial reimbursement for travel expenses will be available. Send applications to:

Jo Ann Larson
United States Senate Youth Program
New York State Education Department, Room 320 EB 
Albany, New York 12234

New York State’s United States Senate Youth 2009 delegates were Erica Pincus of Long Island Lutheran High School, Bayville, NY and Charlotte Saul of Orchard Park High School, Orchard Park, NY.

Last Updated: August 20, 2009