Two W.Va. Students to Participate in U.S. Senate Program

August 25, 2006

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ Applications are being accepted from West Virginia high school students who want to participate in the annual United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C.  

U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., said those interested must take the required test by Sept. 15, 2006. The West Virginia Department of Education must receive the results by Sept. 19, 2006. Names of those chosen will be announced in December.  

State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine, in cooperation with high school principals, will select two students from the applicants to serve as delegates during the program’s 45th anniversary March 3-10, 2007. Academic performance, leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer service will be considered in making a selection.  

Delegates must be junior or senior elected student officer for the 2006-2007 academic year, attend school in West Virginia and be a state resident. Eligibility considerations also may be made for student representatives elected or selected to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations.  

The two West Virginia students will join 102 other delegates from every state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity for a week of intensive study of the federal government and the U.S. Senate in particular. Each delegate will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to Washington. Students will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the U.S. Supreme Court and other highlights in Washington. They also will meet with senators, cabinet officers, government leaders and policy-makers. The leadership program was established in 1962 by Senate Resolution 324, which resolved: “That the Senate hereby expresses its willingness to cooperate in a nationwide competitive high school program which would give several representative high school students from each state a short indoctrination into the operation of the United States Senate and the Federal Government generally, if such a program can be satisfactorily arranged and completely supported by private funds with no expense to the Federal Government.”  

Since then, more than 4,500 students have participated in the program, which is fully funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.  

For more information about this program, contact Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-7805.  

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