United States Senate Youth

Qualified high school juniors and seniors may apply for the opportunity to experience government and compete for $10,000 scholarships in the United States Senate Youth Program. Delegate students will meet their U.S. senators and other government leaders during the comprehensive online experience scheduled for March 14-18, 2021.

Two qualified junior or senior high school students will represent Florida in Washington Week ONLINE this year receiving the educational opportunity to hear major policy addresses by United States Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Department of State and Defense, and directors of other federal agencies. In addition, each student delegate will receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies. Established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution and funded by the Hearst Foundations, the United States Senate Youth Program provides a unique experience for students interested in pursuing careers in public service. If you are a high school junior or senior serving in an elected or appointed capacity in approved campus or community organizations, you may be eligible to apply for this extraordinary initiative.

The USSYP was created "to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationship 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 two high school juniors and seniors from every 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 its leaders. Students are recommended through a rigorous nomination and selection process. Each student will also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship, with encouragement to continue coursework in history, government and public affairs. The Hearst Foundations have fully funded and administered the program since inception; no government funds are utilized.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates generally rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities often directed toward public service.

Delegates must be juniors or seniors and elected or appointed student officers for the 2019-2020 or the 2020-2021 academic year. Due to COVID-19, students who are unable to serve in qualifying leadership positions for the 2020-2021 academic year may use positions held in the previous year, as verified by the state selection administrator, and they must reside in the state where they attend school. Eligibility considerations may also be made for student representatives elected or selected (by a panel, commission or board) to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations where the delegate is serving a constituency in a high-level leadership position for the entire academic year. We will announce selected students in early February 2021.

The deadline for receipt of full applications in Florida is December 14, 2020. A selection committee will invite the top 15 students to interview in January using Zoom.

The Justice Teaching Center for Civic Learning at Florida Southern College administers the Florida application and selection processes for the United States Senate Youth Program. For more information contact apitts@flsouthern.edu.