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United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship

The United States Senate Youth Program application deadline date has been extended to Dec. 18, 2020.

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week will be held online the week of March 14-18, 2021. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online program and each will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.

Please refer to the United States Senate Youth Program Brochure below for complete details. This brochure provides valuable information regarding the United States Senate Youth Program rules and regulations.

Program Summary
  1. The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week will be held online March 14-18, 2021. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online program and each will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.
  2. Please refer to the United States Senate Youth Program Brochure shown above for complete details. This brochure provides valuable information regarding the USSYP program rules and regulations.
  3. Each high school principal may choose two students to submit the USSYP application on the form supplied by the Department of Education (DOE). Each application must have the school’s principal’s signature. The application and all required attachments must be emailed no later than December 8, 2020 to the following email address: doe.senateyouth@state.sd.us
    Mailed in applications will not be accepted.
  4. Required: Students must email with their application two (2) letters of recommendation. One letter should be an academic letter from a teacher, counselor or principal. The other letter should be from a mentor, employer or adult advisor.
  5. Required: Each student must email with their application a copy of their High School Transcript.
  6. Department of Education will select two delegates to represent South Dakota in the program. Selections will be based on the information the student provides with their application. Each State agency must submit the names of their two delegates to the USSYP on or before February 5, 2021. A representative of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation will confirm each student’s appointment as a delegate with their respective high school principal. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation will notify delegates of their appointment.
  7. The Department of Education website with additional information regarding the USSYP can be found at https://doe.sd.gov/scholarships/senateyouth.aspx
  8. The United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program Website can be found at: http://ussenateyouth.org/.
  9. There will be no USSYP Public Affairs & History exam this year.

For questions contact:
Mark Gageby: mark.gageby@state.sd.us, 605-773-3727
Melinda Johnson: Melinda.johnson@state.sd.us, 605-295-0433
Stephanie Hanson: StephanieA.Hansen@state.sd.us, 605-295-2507

2017 Student Delegate Essay, Amanda Finnegan
2017 Student Delegate Essay, Bridger Gordon
2011 Student Delegate Essay

Scholarship Application

Application Deadline is December 8, 2020. Application and all required attachments must be emailed to the following email address: doe.senateyouth@state.sd.us. Mail in applications will not be accepted.

The United States Senate Youth application is a fillable form.

Past Scholarship Recipients
    2020 Recipients
    • Richard Howard, West Central High School, Delegate
    • Caleb Weiland, Beresford High School, Delegate
    • Logan Keszler, Hamlin High School, Alternate
    • Ryan Peldo, Spearfish High School, Alternate


      2019 Recipients
      • Jack Brenneman, Roosevelt High School, Delegate
      • Rylee Niesent, Spearfish High School, Delegate
      • Caleb Weiland, Beresford High School, Alternate
      • Mary Schlichte, St. Thomas More High School, Alternate


      2018 Recipients
      • Derick Peters, West Central High School, Delegate
      • Isaac Olson, Mobridge-Pollock High School, Delegate
      • Kashfia Rahman, Brookings High School, Alternate 1
      • Dylan Burns, Belle Fourche High School, Alternate 2


      2017 Recipients
      • Amanda Finnegan, Vermillion High School, Delegate
      • Bridger Gordon, Sturgis Brown High School, Delegate
      • Hannah Young, Spearfish High School, Alternate 1
      • Corbin Olson, St. Thomas More High School, Alternate 2


      2016 Recipients
      • Manaal Ali, Harrisburg High School, Delegate
      • Caroline Moriarty, Roosevelt High School, Delegate
      • Kyla Oster, Hot Springs High School, Alternate 1
      • Max Hawkins, Roosevelt High School, Alternate 2


      2015 Recipients
      • Patrick Binder, Yankton High School, Delegate
      • Gerald Fraas, West Central High School, Delegate
      • Ryan O’Connell, O’Gorman High School, Alternate 1
      • Joshua Thurow, Oldham-Ramona High School, Alternate 2


      2014 Recipients
      • Lane Haskell, St. Thomas More High School, Delegate
      • Gina Elmore, Hot Springs High School, Delegate
      • Jackson Shriver, Watertown High School, Alternate 1
      • Lucas Bartl, Mitchell High School, Alternate 2


      2013 Recipients
      • Samantha Beck, T.F. Riggs High School, Delegate
      • Elizabeth Renner, West Central High School, Delegate
      • David Day, Vermillion High School, Alternate 1
      • Stetson Heirigs, Aberdeen Central, Alternate 2


      2012 Recipients
      • James Updike, Rapid City Stevens High School, Delegate
      • Elise Twohy, St. Thomas More High School, Delegate
      • Joseph Schartz, West Central High School, Alternate 1
      • Anthony Husher, Winner High School, Alternate 2


      2011 Recipients
      • Jacob Naasz, Winner High School, Delegate
      • Samuel Dunkle, Brookings High School, Delegate
      • Brent Olinger, Bridgewater-Emery High School, Alternate 1
      • Jacqueline Wilson, St. Thomas More High School, Alternate 2


      2010 Recipients
      • Jeffery Young, Spearfish High School, Delegate
      • Sarah Day, Vermillion High School, Delegate
      • Louis Kjerstad, St. Thomas More, Alternate 1
      • Alex Bordewyk, Madison High School, Alternate 2


      2009 Recipients
      • Nolan Goetzinger, Rapid City, Delegate
      • McKenzie Jordan, Dakota Dunes, Delegate
      • Samuel Carlson, Sioux Falls, Alternate 1
      • Tyler Littau, Carter, Alternate 2


      2008 Recipients
      • Jacob Fuhrman, Aberdeen, Delegate
      • John Wilson, Rapid City, Delegate
      • Alik Parry, Brandon, Alternate 1
      • Landon White, Sioux Falls, Alternate 2