Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware

The United States Senate Youth program is an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to deepen their knowledge of the Senate and the federal government overall, as well as receive a one-time $5,000 college scholarship to the college of their choice with encouragement to continue their studies in government and history.

How was the program founded and who finances it?

The program began in 1962 when Senate Resolution 324 was introduced by Senators Tom Kuchel (R-Calif.) Assistant Minority Leader, Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) Majority Leader, Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) Minority Leader and Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.) Assistant Majority Leader. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation supports the program financially.

Who can participate?

Two high school juniors or seniors are selected each year from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to serve as delegates to Washington Week, a week-long educational program that takes place in Washington, D.C.

How are students chosen?

Public and private high school teachers and principals nominate qualified students beginning in early fall. To qualify students must hold student body office or another elected or appointed position in their communities and show academic interest and aptitude in government, history and politics. Many states administer a comprehensive public affairs, government and history test prepared annually for the program by a college professor of political science and states may also ask for additional essays and/or personal interviews. The chief state school officer in each state makes the final selection by December 1. The program is merit-based and highly competitive.

What happens during Washington Week?

Washington Week is an intensive week of educational activities in the nation's capital encompassing the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government as well as a perspective on America from abroad. Events include meeting with the Senate Co-Chairs, Senate leadership and Senate parliamentarian and historian, a Justice of the Supreme Court, the President, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and other executive agencies, a foreign ambassador to the U.S. and senior members of the media. A highlight of the week is the annual Senate Youth Program Reception, where the students get to meet the Senators from their state.

Where do I get more information?

For more details on the United States Senate Youth Program, visit the USSYP website or contact Mr. Preston Shockley at the Delaware Department of Education at (302) 735-4180.