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Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
Students headed to Washington and to receive $5000 scholarship
February 20, 2008
AUGUSTA – Monike Santana of South Portland and Andrew Massey of Yarmouth have been selected as Maine’s two delegates to the 46th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) which will be held March 1-8, 2008, in Washington, D.C. They were chosen from 56 applicants to be part of the group.
The USSYP was created by the U.S. Senate in 1962 and has been fully funded since then by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony was “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships 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 104 of the most outstanding high school students to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, the foundation grants each of the student delegates a $5,000 college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.
Monike Santana is a member of the Student Council at Catherine McAuley High School. She is President of the Spanish Club and Captain of the Field Hockey Team. Monike also participates in kick-boxing, Key Club, Ambassadors Club, Civil Rights Team, Mock Trial, Drama Club, and she volunteers at the Preble Street Soup Kitchen.
Andrew Massey is vice president of the Student Senate at Yarmouth High School. He remains active with the tennis team, newspaper, debate team, golf team, Yarmouth High School Playmakers theatrical organization and National Honors Society, and pursues interests in creative writing, and physics. Andrew plans to attend a liberal arts college to study English and foreign languages.
Chosen as alternates to the 2008 program were Molly Cyr, a resident of Dover-Foxcroft who attends Foxcroft Academy and Zachary Hynes, a resident of Yarmouth who attends Yarmouth High School.
The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after 10 finalists participate in a judged competition held in Augusta each November. This year’s delegates were designated by Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Maine juniors and seniors who hold elected offices at their school,” Gendron said. “Building upon classroom education with real life experiences is an important piece of 21st century learning.” Gendron encouraged more high schools to participate in the program and encourage their students to apply. Only 28 high schools in Maine participated this year.
While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senate leadership, other Senators and Congressional staff, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an Ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, this year’s students rank academically in the top one percent of their states. They develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate; Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt; former Presidential Advisor Karl Rove and former Presidential Advisor Thomas "Mack" McLarty. Additional distinguished alumni are former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Christopher Christie, military officers, Foreign Service officers, members of state legislatures, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.
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