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United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week will be held online the week of March 15, 2021. The exact timeframe of the program is to be decided. 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.

The United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship is a nationwide youth program that brings high school students to Washington, D.C., for a brief on-site introduction to the functions of the federal government and, in particular, the United States Senate.

Program Summary
  1. The 2020 United States Senate Youth Program will be held in Washington, D.C. March 7 – March 14, 2020.
  2. Please refer to the United States Senate Youth Program Brochure above for complete details. Brochure can also be found on the following website: https://ussenateyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2020-Official-USSYP-Brochure.pdf
  3. Each high school principal may submit two applications on forms supplied by the Department of Education (DOE). Applications must be postmarked no later than September 20, 2019. When DOE receives an application, a copy of the Qualifying Examination is sent to the person identified on the form to administer the exam. The test shall be administered under the usual conditions that prevail under testing situations. The test must be returned to the DOE and postmarked no later than October 25, 2019.
  4. Each student must include one (1) letter of recommendation with their application.
  5. DOE will select two delegates to represent South Dakota in the Program. Selections will be based on the results of a Qualifying Examination and on demonstrated qualities of leadership. Each state agency must submit the names of their two delegates to the foundation on or before December 1, 2019. A representative of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation will confirm each student's appointment as a delegate with the respective high school principal. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation will notify delegates by sending a letter to their home address.
  6. The program is funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The foundation will pay all expenses for the Washington week including transportation, hotel, and meals. The foundation will arrange transportation to and from Washington, D.C. It will be a local responsibility to transport each delegate to and from the nearest commercial airport, bus terminal, or railroad station. No tours or side trips will be permitted by individual delegates en route to or from Washington, D.C.
  7. Each delegate will be a guest of the United States Senate throughout the program and will be required to conduct himself or herself in such a manner as to reasonably assure that neither the United States Senate nor the Senate Youth Program will be discredited as a result of the conduct of such delegate.
  8. The United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program Website can be found at: http://ussenateyouth.org/.

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

Scholarship Application

The application deadline has passed. Applications for the United States Senate Youth Program for 2021 will be available this fall.

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