CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two students from Kanawha and Harrison counties have been named U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship winners and will represent West Virginia in Washington, D.C., this spring.
Isaac Jones, a student at Capital High School in Charleston, and Julian Pecora, a student at Notre Dame (Catholic) High School in Clarksburg, were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 51st Anniversary Washington Week in March. Both students also receive $5,000 scholarships.
“An in-depth knowledge of democracy and how our government works plays an increasingly important role in today’s global economy,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. “Both Isaac and Julian will be immersed in the workings of this country. They should be proud of their accomplishment.”
Chosen as alternates to the 2013 merit-based program were Madeline Duarte of Morgantown High School in Monongalia County, and Jacob McCoy of Man High School in Logan County.
The chief educational officer in each state names the delegates from nominations made by teachers and principals. The two West Virginia delegates were chosen with input from a state Department of Education committee. The winners were announced by U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va. The two West Virginia students will join 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.
While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators and congressional staff, the president, a justice of the U.S. 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 will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The leadership program was established in 1962 by Senate Resolution 324. Since then, about 5,000 students have participated in the program. Each student delegate also receives a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. The scholarships, transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are provided by The Hearst Foundations.
Contact Joey Wiseman, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-7805, or the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699 for more information.