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U.S. 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. 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 typically hear from Senators, cabinet members, directors of other federal agencies, members of the national media, Supreme Court justices, and other leaders. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The William Randolph Hearst Foundation. 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 2023 United States Senate Youth Brochure (PDF).

The 2023 USSYP Washington Week dates are March 4-11, 2023.

Please watch this video of the 2022 USSYP Washington Week.

Special Statement:  The USSYP Washington Week 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.


All interested students must submit the online application by midnight on September 12, 2022. Applications must be submitted online; no mailed in applications will be accepted. Applicants should plan to submit all materials at one time as the submission site does not allow you to return to a partially completed application.

Application requires:

  • Completed online application
  • One-page student résumé
  • Principal letter of support
  • Essay should be 300-500 words and should not have any student-identifying marks (name, school, grade, etc).
  • The essay topic is: “Legislators are elected to represent their constituency. Should members of Congress follow the delegate theory of representation or the trustee theory of representation? Which theory would embody your leadership style as an elected member of Congress?

Please direct all questions related to the application process to Foundation Civic Education Program Manager Joseph O’Connor.

(subject to change)

  • July 18 – Application window opens
  • September 12 – Applications due
  • September 29 – Applicants advancing to the Top Ten notified
  • October 15 – Top Ten interview day
  • December 1 – Delegates and Alternates announced
  • March 4-11, 2023 – Washington Week

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be currently serving in an elected or appointed position representing a constituency during the entire school year
  • Must be a junior or senior attending high school in the U.S. through graduation
  • Interested in and participating in leadership, public service, and government-related activities
  • Able to attend the entire Washington Week
  • High School principal must provide a letter of support and verify student’s participation in the leadership activities within this letter.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident at the time of application.
    • Students who are not U.S. citizens must be in possession of their I-551/”green card” at the time of application and throughout Washington Week
  • Review the 2023 United States Senate Youth Brochure (PDF) for complete rules and details
  • Over the last year or so, my desire to serve our country and attend the United States Military Academy at West Point has turned into my single greatest goal in life. After participating in the United States Senate Youth Program, I have a newfound appreciation for our democracy, and I am newly invigorated to spend the next decade of my life dedicated to its service.

    Katherine LaReau

    2021 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • The United States Senate Youth program is a steppingstone for dedicated student leaders to become the public servants our country needs most. The program encourages us to deliberate on our past, discuss our present, and envision the future with the wild imagination of the Founders when they dared to press pen to paper. I am humbled by the opportunity the program provided me and have never been more inspired to pursue a lifetime of service.

    Marissa Meador

    2021 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • Many of the awe-inspiring moments of Washington Week came during speakers’ remarks and question and answer sessions. Giving youth a platform to engage so critically and eloquently with the high-profile figures of our nation is something commendable the Hearst Foundations has annually succeeded in doing.

    Ishaan Modi

    2019 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • The United States Senate Youth Program served as a cross-section of tomorrow’s leaders. I know for a fact that the people I stood in line behind for oatmeal will be elected, appointed, and chosen for public service at the highest levels of government.

    William Schrepferman

    2019 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • The students I met during my short time in Washington were truly the height of intellect, conviction, and moral upstanding.

    Connor Meyer

    2018 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • I came to Washington Week skeptical of the figureheads in our government, yet hearing their remarkable speeches reassured me that the country is in good hands. The week truly humanized the people in our government and revealed their positive intent.

    Jake Ingoglia

    2017 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • Seeing Surgeon General Vivek openly talk about his Indian-American heritage was a source of inspiration for not only the Indian-American delegates but all delegates who understand the integral part cultural diversity plays in American identity.

    Rushi Patel

    2017 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • Although the experiences the United States Senate Youth Program provided have made a huge impact on me, the delegates from around the country have had an even larger influence. Never before have I been surround by such passionate, intelligent, and considerate peers. I am sure the relationships I formed will continue for years to come.

    Brooke Hanes

    2016 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate

  • The experiences that I had during the week in Washington are ones that I will never forget. I was inspired by my fellow delegates to bring my ideas back home and help out my own city.

    Alex Yom

    2016 U.S. Senate Youth Delegate