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United States Senate Youth Program


Information about the 2015-2016 scholarship will be mailed to all High School Principals and/or Counselors in August 2015 .  Please see your school Principal or Counselor about the testing process.  

Additional program information can be found on the U.S. Senate Youth Program website at .

Rules for Choosing West Virginia Delegates:

The accompanying brochure lists the qualifications for applicants.  Sections will be based on outstanding academic ability and demonstrated qualities of leadership.  The West Virginia delegates will be chosen by the following rules:

  1. Regardless of race, creed, color, sex or financial need, students are eligible to be candidates for the U.S. Senate Youth Program provided they:
    • have not previously been a delegate to the program
    • are currently serving in an elected or selected capacity in any one of the following student government, civic or education organizations.
      • Student body or class president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
      • Student council representative
      • Student representative elected or selected (selected by a panel, commission or board) to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organization
      • are permanent residents of the United States, and at least one of their parents or guardians is a legal resident of West Virginia
      • are currently enrolled as a junior or senior in a publi or /private school in West Virginia.
  2. Students take a test prepared by the William Randolph Heart Foundation the week of September 14, 2015.
  3. Schools submit the answer sheets and essays immediately.  All tests must be in the WVDE Office of Secondary Learning on or before September 25, 2015.
  4. Semi-finalists are selected based on the highest test scores.
  5. Six finalists are selected from the semi-finalist pool, based upon evaluation of essay scores, academic records, school activities and evidence of leadership.
  6. Each finalist makes a formal presentation and is interviewed by a committee.  The committee is composed of six professionals and/or community people who will make the final selection.  The names of the two delegates and two alternates are announced by the Randolph Hearst Foundation in December.
  7. In Identifying your school candidates to take the test, you may want to consider:
    • Leadership ability.
    • High scholastic standing.  Demonstrated ability to achieve.
    • Ability to read, write, speak and think.  (Clear speech and logical though processes are important in question and answer sessions with distinguished speakers during finalist interviews in Charleston and Washington week.)
    • Community involvement. Participation in a wide spectrum of activities on and off campus.

Sample U.S. Senate Youth Program Test

Sample Test


These are fill-able forms.

Contact Information Sheet

Student Roster

The 53rd Washington Week was, once again, an extraordinary and inspiring endeavor that will surely be remembered by all as an experience of a lifetime.  Two student delegates from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity came together for an intensive educational experience about the American government, learning from and being encouraged by the highest level elected and appointed officials in the country.  You can review the entire agenda on the program website Speakers for the 53rd annual program included:

  • President Barack Obama
  • Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer
  • Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson
  • NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr.
  • Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia – USSYP Republican Co-Chair
  • Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia – USSYP Democratic Co-Chair
  • Senator Susan Collins of Maine (alumna of USSYP – 1971)
  • Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado (alumnus of USSYP – 1993)
  • Swedish Ambassador to the United States Bjorn Lyrvall
  • Brian Lamb, Founder and CEO of C-SPAN


Each year, the state department of education selection administrators from the states of the two acting Senate Co-Chairs are invited to attend Washington Week and see the program and the students up close.  In addition, this year a record 80 United States Senators came to the 53rd USSYP Annual Reception for all Senators to meet the two students from their state, have a chance to get acquainted and to sign the students’ certificates of scholarship that convey the $5,000 college scholarship.  It was truly a magnificent week.


Finally, we were once again privileged to have C-SPAN tape a town hall style meeting event with our students hosted by Brian Lamb. You can have a front row seat to see and hear these thoughtful and motivated young people speak about the program and the impact it has had on them on C-SPAN, Sunday night, April  5th  at 8:00 PM ET and re-aired at 11:00 PM ET in the Q and A program.



Contact Information

Coordinator, Allegra Kazemzadeh (

Assistant, Mary Wilkins (

Office of Middle/Secondary Learning

Phone:  304-558-5325                 FAX:  304-558-1834

1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6 Room 603, Charleston, WV  25305