CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two students from Mingo and Monongalia counties have been named U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship winners and will represent West Virginia in Washington, D.C., this spring.
Amber McCoy, a junior at Matewan High School in Mingo County, and Nathan Tauger, a senior at Morgantown High School in Monongalia County,will be guests of the United States Senate March 6 to 13 as part of the program’s 48th annual Washington Week. McCoy and Tauger each will receive a $5,000 scholarship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
McCoy is junior class president and also serves on Student Council. She is section leader of the marching band and first chair of the concert band, a member of the National Honor Society and Upward Bound. She is active in Rachel's Challenge, People to People International and the Appalachian Studies Association. Her career plans include international studies and astronomy. McCoy says one of her most memorable moments was meeting the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
Tauger is the Student Council secretary. He is a member of the soccer and track teams, math honors and serves as Spanish Club treasurer. In addition, Tauger coaches community league basketball, engages in community service through Hi Y and teaches the youth group at his synagogue. He plans to major in biology and study bio-tech law. Tauger says he believes the key to leadership is the ability to communicate and negotiate for the benefit of all involved.
Chosen as alternates to the 2010 program were Ryan Zahalka, a junior at Morgantown High School, and Christopher Nyden, a senior at Capital High School in Kanawha County. The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. State Superintendent Steve Paine named the West Virginia delegates.
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, including Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va.
While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senate leadership, other senators and Congressional staff; the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media. The students also will tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower hotel in downtown Washington.
“This program gives students a first-hand look at how our government functions and may inspire them to pursue public service,” Paine said.
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.
For more information, contact Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-7805, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
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