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United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP)


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 foundation grants each of the 104 student delegates a $5,000 college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.

In New Hampshire each high school principal may nominate one eligible student. Selection is based on academic accomplishments, community services, and demonstrated qualities of leadership as elected high school student body officers for the current school year. Whether outspoken or soft spoken, the type of student who thrives during Washington Week is one who is truly interested in government, history, politics and leadership and one who has a demonstrated desire to serve others in a leadership capacity. High academic achievement, high aspirations for college and career and other clear examples of self-motivation and creativity often define Senate Youth delegates. A selection committee reviews the nominations and choose several finalists. All finalists are interviewed in early November by the selection committee. The Committee then selects two primary delegates and a first and second alternate. Alternates will be selected as replacements in the event a primary delegate is for any reason unable to participate in the program's Washington Week.

Specific Qualifications

Any high school junior or senior is eligible for the program provided he or she has not previously been a delegate to the program, and is currently serving in an ELECTED capacity in any one of the following student government, civic or educational organizations:

  • Student body president, vice president, secretary or treasurer;
  • Class president, vice president, secretary or treasurer;
  • Student council representative;
  • Student representative elected or appointed (appointed by a panel, commission or board) to a district, regional or state-level civic and/or educational organization approved by the state selection administrator.

Each student must be a PERMANENT RESIDENT of the United States and currently enrolled in a public or private secondary school located in the state in which either one of his or her parents or guardians legally resides. A student attending a school that is located in a state other than the state of legal residence of either one of such student's parents or guardians is not eligible.

The 55th annual United States Senate Youth Program that will take place in Washington, D.C. March 4 – 11, 2017.

THe 54th Annual United States Senate Youth Program

  • Diab (Dody) Eid attends Nashua High School South and serves as the vice president of the Student Senate and as the South student representative to the School Board. Dody founded the History Bowl team at Nashua High School South and won the state tournament in 2014 and 2015. He is most proud of his opportunity to represent New Hampshire at American Legion Boys Nation in 2015. Dody would like to attend either Yale, Harvard or Georgetown and study economics and political science.
  • Jacob Marcus attends Merrimack High School and serves as the student representative to the School Board and a representative to the Student Congress. He founded the Young Politicians Club this year and became active in the community by serving as Merrimack’s community organizer for a presidential candidate. He is proud of his involvement in band, having participated since fifth grade, and for which he serves as the current president. He would like to study political science and economics during his undergraduate education, and plans to attend a liberal arts school in the coming years.

The 53rd Annual United States Senate Youth Program

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte have announced the names of the two students who have been selected as delegates to the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 7 – 14, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Devin McMahon of East Hampstead and Jessie Osgood of Henniker were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 53rd annual Washington Week.

  • Devin McMahon is a senior at Pinkerton Academy who serves as the Student Council president and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) community service coordinator. She is also the Student Council district vice president, a board member on the State Student Council, and has founded a nonprofit called Your Eyes Wide Open which supports education in developing countries. In just the first year of this organization she raised enough money to sponsor eight children in Ethiopia for a year. Last summer Devin took part in an international entrepreneurship competition based in Boston, where she and her team won first place.
  • Jessie Osgood attends John Stark Regional High School and serves as a student representative to the School Board. She has been a Model United Nations Leadership Team member since entering high school. Jessie has strong academic credentials, a commitment to civic action, and proven leadership qualities. She plans to attend a four year college majoring in Liberal Arts so she can “try everything.”.

The 52nd Annual United States Senate Youth Program

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte announced the names of the two New Hampshire 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. Jesse Austin of Danbury and Leah Stagnone of Litchfield 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.

  • Jesse Austin is a junior at Newfound Regional High School and serves as his class president and Student Council secretary. He participates in track, cross country, and recreational archery. He is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as the clerk of the International Thespian Society. In addition, he is involved in other various school and community organizations, such as the Student/Staff Senate and S.A.L.T. Ministries. He plans to major in political science.
  • Leah Stagnone attends Campbell High School and serves on the Student Council and is also a School Board representative. She has served on the Student Council for four years and Leah embraces the school’s core values of Responsibility, Respect, Courage and Character, and has been successful in bringing change and overcoming resistance with influential leadership. She is a dedicated student who excels academically and athletically. She would like to attend Dartmouth or Georgetown and study international relations.

The 51st Annual United States Senate Youth Program

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte announced the names of the two students who have been selected as delegates to the 51st Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 9 – 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. John Parsons of Madbury and Allison Thompson of Nashua were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 51st annual Washington Week.

  • John Parsons attends Oyster River High School, where he serves as the student representative to the School Board. He was also elected vice president of the Class of 2013. His interests range from technology to politics. An avid golfer, John aspires to hold public office one day, giving voice to the people he represents as he currently does in high school. In the near future, John plans to major in computer science with a minor in political science or business.
  • Allison Thompson attends Nashua High School South where she has been a class officer for all four years. She was also the student representative on the School Futures Committee studying scheduling, graduation, and community service requirements. While balancing her extracurricular and athletic expectations she helped guide the committee. She is a highly respected member of the student body, highly regarded by the faculty and administration, and strives to be an outstanding citizen. Allison will be attending Wellesley College in the fall of 2013.

The 50th Annual United States Senate Youth Program

  • Ashley Chen is a senior at Nashua High School South. She is involved in activities in and around the school community. As a highly-involved Senator since her freshman year, she has effectively risen to the leadership role of President. In addition, she currently serves as the Vice President of the Science Honor Society as well at captaining the Tennis Team. Ashley has also served in a leadership capacity for the Finance Club and National Honor Society. She has been accepted to Harvard where she plans to major in either Economics or Computer Science.
  • Matthew Sanborn is a senior at Plymouth Regional High School. He has actively served as President of his class for two years. He has also been an active member of Student Government for three years, President of the National Honor Society, and a student representative for the School Board. Matt is captain of the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. He hopes to attend the US Naval Academy in Maryland majoring in political science and international studies.
Lori Kincaid
Public Information Officer
NH Department of Education
(603) 271-6646
Lori.Kincaid@doe.nh.gov

More information about the United States Senate Youth Program can be found at www.ussenateyouth.org.

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New Hampshire Department of Education
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Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711