CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ Two students from Monongalia and Marion County have been named U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship winners and will represent West Virginia in Washington, D.C., this spring.
Stephen Richard Stolzenberg from Morgantown High School and Mackenzie Elizabeth Boyles from East Fairmont High School will be guests of the United States Senate March 1 to 8. Each delegate also will receive a $5,000 scholarship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Stolzenberg is president of the Social Studies Club; an Eagle Scout and assistant senior patrol leader for the Boy Scouts; co-captain of varsity track and cross country; and chairman for model U.N. for the 2007-2008 academic year. He also participates in Teen Court, Boys State and Jazz Band. His free time is spent volunteering in his community. He plans to participate in the Rotary Foreign Exchange Program, earn a degree in political science and serve in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.
Boyles is vice president of Student Council and senior class Student Council representative, editor-in-chief of the Orion, the school yearbook, for 2007-2008. As student body vice president, she helped organize homecoming events, freshmen orientation, class elections and service projects. She has served as co-captain of the varsity soccer team and participates in five different sports. She participated in the Marion County Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program. Her career plans include a degree in biology and dental school.
The delegates were chosen from nearly 300 applicants who took a qualifying test and then from 20 semi-finalists who were asked to submit letters of recommendation, transcripts, school activities, community service, schedules, elected and appointed offices held and standardized test scores. Students also submitted essays.
A selection committee reviewed all submissions and selected the top six students as finalists to be personally interviewed at the state Capitol on Nov. 19, 2007. State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine named the two students, who will serve as delegates during the program’s 46th anniversary. U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., announced the winners in December.
“This program gives students a first-hand look at how our government functions and may inspire them to pursue public service,” Paine said.
Academic performance, leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer service will be considered in making a selection. Delegates also must be junior or senior elected student officers 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 system for a week of intensive study of the federal government and the U.S. Senate in particular. Once in 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 policymakers.
The leadership program was established in 1962 by Senate Resolution 324. Since then, more than 4,500 students have participated in the program, which is fully funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Contact Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-7805 for more information.