Iowa students selected for prestigious United States Senate Youth Program
Two students have been selected as delegates to represent Iowa in the annual United States Senate Youth Program.
Pablo Haake, a junior from Davenport Central High School, and Edgar Thornton, a senior at Iowa City High School each will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a fully funded trip to Washington, D.C., this March.
Haake and Thornton were among 30 Iowa students who applied for the prestigious 52-year-old program. Each year, the program brings more than 100 of the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive weeklong study of the federal government and the people who lead it.
The goals of the program include deepening the understanding of America’s political process and strengthening the students’ resolve to pursue careers in public service.
The Senate Youth Program’s alumni include Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first delegate to be elected U.S. senator; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the first delegate to be elected governor; and former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top 1 percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. To be selected, students had to take rigorous public affairs examinations, provide personal essays and submit to an extensive application process.
Haake is involved in numerous activities that represent his commitment to leadership and service. This includes being the executive chair of the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council, serving in the Iowa Youth Congress, and being a part of his local school board as a student representative. He also is involved in sports, and participates in National History Day, OPUS Honor Choir, History Bowl and the Environment Club.
Thornton is an elected member of the Student Senate at his high school. He serves as the student representative on the Iowa State Board of Education and is involved in many local, state, and national political campaigns. He also participates in sports and the student newspaper, in addition to being a section leader in band.