U.S. Senate Youth Program

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    What is the United States Senate Youth Program?
    The United States Senate Youth Program (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. The 56th annual program will be held in Washington, D.C., from March 3 – 10, 2018. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.
    For additional information, please review the USSYP brochure on the William Randolph Hearst Foundation website at http://ussenateyouth.org/.

      2018 United States Senate Youth Program Winners

      1st Candidate -Dawson Frost

      Dawson Frost attends Churchill County High School and serves as the Student Body president. He is a member of the National Honor Society, and volunteers his time in the community including with the Epworth United Methodist Church youth group, serving as the youth representative for Church Finance Committee, and at the local public library. He plans to attend the University of Nevada and earn a double major in political science and environmental science. Dawson hopes to enter the University’s Honors program, become engaged in student government, and work as an intern at the Nevada State legislature. The career path he desires is a job within the United States Department of State or other federal office.

      2nd Candidate - Pranit Nanda

      Pranit Nanda is a senior at the Davidson Academy, where he serves as Student Body treasurer. He has served as a Nevada Youth legislator and was appointed to the Reno Youth City Council. In recognition of his community service efforts, the City of Reno proclaimed April 12, 2017 as Pranit Nanda Day. He is also a research intern for the economics department at the University of Nevada Reno, primarily involved in research in entrepreneurial and regional economics. After graduation, Pranit would like to work as an analyst for a government budget or taxation committee.

      Chosen as alternates to the 2018 program were Ms. Morgan Heath-Powers, a resident of Reno, who attends Davidson Academy and Ms. Alexis Calin, a resident of Las Vegas, who attends Advanced Technologies Academy.


        Each student applicant must be a permanent resident of the United States and currently a junior or senior enrolled in a public or private high school. The school must be located in the state in which either one of the applicant's parents or guardians legally reside. The student applicant must currently be serving in an elected capacity in any one of the following student government, civic or educational organizations and continue to serve in that elected position for the entire 2017-2018 school year:

        • Student body: President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer
        • Class President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer
        • Student Council: Representative
        • District, regional, or state-level civic or educational organizations: Representative.
        • School clubs (e.g., Chess Club) are not considered civic or educational organizations

        A student attending a school located in a state other than the state of legal residence of his or her parents or guardians is not eligible.
        Selection will be based on academic accomplishments, community service, and demonstrated qualities of leadership for the current school year.

          Who is eligible to apply?
          Each student applicant must meet all of the following criteria: 

          • U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident (proof required)
          • Currently enrolled in an accredited public or private high school (home school students must belong to a home school association, or the Education Alliance group, located in Nevada in which either one of his/her parents or guardians legally resides)
          • High school juniors and seniors are eligible for the program, provided they have not previously been a delegate to Washington Week and have not received a USSYP scholarship (students who graduate from high school at the close of the fall 2018 semester/quarter are not eligible to apply for the program)
          • Currently serve in an elected or selected 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
            • home school students must be an elected or selected officer or student representative to a district, regional, state-level or national civic or educational organization (include the name of the organization, the elected office, and briefly summarize the election/selection process in Section 1 of the application)

            What are the requirements?
            Each student application must meet the following required guidelines: 

            • Demonstrate leadership qualities through public service in elected or appointed positions
            • Actively serve in qualified leadership positions for the entire 2017-18 academic year
            • Exhibit high academic achievement
            • Understand U.S. government and history
            • Involved in school and community activities
            • Write with clarity, express ideas in an organized and original fashion, and appropriate use of standard English
            • Exhibit excellent interpersonal skills
            • Participate in school and community activities
            • Willing and available to participate in a phone interview the week of November 6-10, 2017
            • Willing and available to attend Washington Week March 3-10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (all expenses are provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation)

              What is the application deadline?

              What is the application deadline?

              Completed application packets must be postmarked no than Friday, October 13, 2017, and should be mailed to:
              Sylvia Verdugo, USSYP Administrator
              Nevada Department of Education
              700 E. Fifth Street, Suite 100
              Carson City, NV 89701

              Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
              If you have any questions regarding the United States Senate Youth Program, please contact Sylvia Verdugo at (775) 687-9224 or by e-mail at sverdugo@doe.nv.gov .

              *The application may be filled out on our webpage and printed or you may print out the application attaching written requirements to the application. 

              Applications must be sent from the student's school of record.
              No other applications will be accepted