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Two Outstanding Iowa High School Students Will Be Selected for 2017 Program

Iowa Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst announced that the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) has begun its annual statewide selection process. The two Iowa students will join 102 other delegates March 4 —11, 2017 for the program’s 55th annual Washington Week.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 as stated in supporting Senate testimony from that year, “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.”

More than 5,500 students have participated in this unique leadership program which brings two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to Washington each year to experience an intensive week-long educational program about the workings of the Senate and the federal government overall. USSYP is sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations — no government funds are utilized. Each of the 104 student delegates will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital.

Senator Roger F. Wicker of Mississippi is serving as the 2017 USSYP Republican Co-Chair and Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is serving as the 2017 USSYP Democratic Co-Chair. The Senate majority and minority leaders and the vice president annually serve as the program’s Honorary Co-Chairs.

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 that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first delegate to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first delegate to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, and former presidential advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, former president of the Progressive Policy Institute Robert Shapiro, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.

The student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and other historic sites in Washington. The agenda routinely includes meetings with senators, the president, Cabinet secretaries, a justice of the Supreme Court, senior members of the national media and other policymakers.

The delegate selection is administered by each state’s chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals. Delegates must be juniors or seniors and elected student officers for the 2016-2017 academic year, 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 2016-2017 academic year.

Names of students selected will be formally announced mid-December. Interested students in Iowa should contact their high school principal or the state-level selection administrator indicated below:

Ms. Stefanie Rosenberg-Wager
Social Studies Consultant
Iowa Department of Education

The United States Senate Youth Program received notification that the Iowa selection deadline is: October 03, 2016.

The 2017 program brochure with detailed rules, selection process and the annual yearbook may be accessed on the USSYP website.

About the Program

U.S. Senate Youth Program logo and link to websiteThe state of Iowa has accepted an invitation to participate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP), sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The program is designed to give young Americans a working knowledge of American political life.

Each year two Iowa students have the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, D.C. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation pays all expenses. In addition, the two Iowa high school representatives each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Selection of the two Iowa high school representatives is based on the outstanding ability and demonstrated leadership qualities of elected junior and senior high school officers.

Each high school may nominate up to three students. Completed applications should be submitted to the appropriate AEA USSYP contact below. Check the the timeline within the Application Materials section below for specific due dates. Nominees take a qualifying examination (specific dates determined by each AEA) on the U.S. Constitution and government. The award recipients are announced in December.

For general program information, visit the

AEA USSYP Contacts

Keystone AEA 1 -  Patricia Lehmann
AEA 267 - Barb Schroeder
Prairie Lakes AEA 8 - Linda Linn
Mississippi Bend AEA 9 - Denise Tatoian
Grant Wood AEA 10 - Susie Green
Heartland AEA 11 - Kelly Schloss 
Northwest AEA - Shari Collins
Green Hills - Terri Bush
Great Prairie AEA - Shannon Johnson

2017 USSYP Application Materials

USSYP Brochure

USSYP Student Application

USSYP Information and Timeline


USSYP Testing Dates

  • Northwest AEA
    • October 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Denison, Denison High School, 819 Monarch Drive, Superintendent’s Conference Room
    • October 19, 2016 at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Sioux City, NWAEA,1520 Morningside Ave, Board Room
    • October 21, 2016 at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Sioux Center, NWAEA,1382 4th Ave NE, Board Room
  • Prairie Lakes AEA
    • October 10, 2016 at 10 AM, Pocahontas office
  • AEA 267
    • October 20, 2016 at Cedar Falls, Clear Lake, and Marshalltown offices
  • Keystone AEA
    • October 14, 2016 at 8:30 AM in Dubuque
    • October 19, 2016 at 1:30 PM in Elkader
  • Mississippi Bend AEA
    • October 19, 2016 at 1 PM
  • Grant Wood AEA
    • October 19, 2016 at 9:30 AM
  • Great Prairie AEA
    • October 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm in Burlington and Ottumwa
    • October 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm in Burlington and Ottumwa
  • Heartland AEA
    • October 18, 2016 at Newton office
    • October 19, 2016 at Johnston office
    • October 20, 2016 at Guthrie Center office
  • Green Hills AEA
    • October 24, 2016 at 9 AM

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 23, 2017 at 11:56am.