New Jersey Department of Education

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United States Senate Youth Program

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is pleased to announce its participation in the 61st Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) sponsored by the Hearst Foundations and the United States Senate. The USSYP, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. Principals of public or nonpublic schools in New Jersey may nominate one outstanding junior or senior to be considered for this highly competitive, merit-based program.

Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will participate in the Washington Week program, experiencing their federal government in action. Student delegates will participate in interactive policy addresses with senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense, leaders of other federal agencies and senior members of the national media. Delegates traditionally participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the president of the United States. Speaking events typically include in-depth question and answer sessions.

The 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week is being planned for March 4–11, 2023. The program may be held online pending public health guidance and status of large group access to the government venues traditionally visited. If held in person, all delegates will be required to be fully vaccinated and boosted to attend.

All eligible students are encouraged to apply. A final decision regarding the in-person program will be determined in the fall of 2022, with adequate time for students to complete the full vaccination series prior to travel. If held online, vaccination status will not be required. Students must attend the program to receive the scholarship. Regardless of platform, all student delegates will partake in a comprehensive, interactive leadership program in the stated timeframe, and each will receive the $10,000 college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate.

There is no cost for delegates to participate in the Washington Week program. If applicable, all transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. Each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.

Students selected for this prestigious program will be asked to sign a Code of Conduct in which they agree to serve with civility, respect and professional during the Washington Week program as representatives of their states and communities.

The United States Senate Youth Program is designed for students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities in their school and community and a strong commitment to public service. The type of student who thrives during Washington Week is one who is truly interested in government, history, politics, and leadership. The Hearst Foundations seek students who are confident and excel at public speaking since Washington Week provides the opportunity to speak directly with the highest-level elected and appointed officials in the country, including the President of the United States. High academic achievement, high aspirations for college and career and other clear examples of self-motivation and creativity often define Senate Youth delegates. Being president of student body government is not enough of a qualifier in many cases – additional and often extraordinary examples of a student's passion for service and empathy for others are often better indicators.

Page Last Updated: 09/08/2022

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