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West Virginia Students Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

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January 29, 2015

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The West Virginia Department of Education applauds two West Virginia students who have been selected as delegates to the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Gene Bailey of Charleston and Yihang Liu of Huntington were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program's Washington Week slated for March 7 - 14, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Gene Bailey is a senior at George Washington High School (GWHS) and serves as a Student Council senior class representative. He was a Supreme Court Justice at Mountaineer Boys State as well as president of the GWHS Young Democrats Club and Youth Leadership Association. Gene wants to be a public defense attorney and a Unites States Senator.

Yihang Liu is a senior at Cabell Midland High School and serves as the HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership) representative for her district. She was also selected to attend Girls State and Girls Nation where she held leadership roles. She is active in Debate Club and Chemistry Honorary at her school. After law school, Yihang wants to pursue a career in international business law. Her dream job would be to work at the United Nations.

Chosen as alternates to the 2015 program were Noah Mancuso, a resident of Vienna, who attends Parkersburg High School and Nicholas Keaton, a resident of Spencer, who attends Roane County High School.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. The impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony was "to increase young Americans' understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world."

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students - two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity - to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each of the 104 student delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds are utilized.

While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with 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 will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

For more information, please contact Robert Wiseman at (304)558-5325 x 53220 or rjwisema@k12.wv.us or the Communications Office at (304)558-2699.

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