U.S. Senate Youth Program

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the safety of travel, indoor gatherings and access to government buildings, the 2022 United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week will be held online during the March 5-10, 2022 timeframe. The program will be a comprehensive public service, leadership and education experience including speakers from the three branches of government and the national media, and each delegate will receive the $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate.  Additional details will be made available upon selection. Read the most recent press release here.

Maine delegates are nominated by their principal and must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Students are permanent residents of the U.S., and one of their parents or guardians is a legal resident of Maine.
  2. Students are juniors or seniors living in Maine and attending a Maine high school through graduation in 2022.
  3. Students must be interested in and participating in leadership, public service and government related activities.
  4. Students must be able to attend the entire 2022 Washington Week (online or in-person TBD), March 5-12, 2021.
  5. Students must be approved by high school principal (or designated representative) as the only nominee from school that the student is attending.
  6. Students must have been elected or appointed to a qualifying leadership post for the current school year. Qualifying leadership posts include, but are note limited to:
    • Member or officer of student council, student senate or equivalent student government organization
    • Class officer – president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
    • Student representative on a district-, regional- or state-level civic and/or educational organization

Application Process for the 2021-22 School Year

  • Late August: Information and instructions communicated to Maine educators and administrators. Each high school building principal may nominate only one eligible student for consideration.
  • October 15 (11:59pm): Deadline for completed applications to be sent via email to:
    • Joe Schmidt, Maine USSYP Coordinator - joe.schmidt@maine.gov
    • Any applications received on October 16 or later, will not be considered.
    • Any incomplete applications will not be considered and the applicant will not be contacted.
  • No later than October 29: Up to 10 finalists will be notified of advancement to the final round.
  • November 8: The finalists will convene for a virtual final competition with the selection committee hosted by the Margaret Chase Smith Library.
  • December 1: Deadline for Hearst Foundation to be notified of Maine's two delegates and two alternates.
  • January: The two finalists and two alternates will be notified and announced.

Application information:
2022 U.S. Senate Youth Program Brochure
2021 U.S. Senate Youth Program Digital Yearbook

2021-22 Application Materials

Congratulations to the 2021 winners:

  • Iann Leigh - Bangor High School
  • Hilton Scott Petersen - Lincoln Academy
    • Hear more about the experience in this interview with the Margaret Chase Smith Library

Congratulations to previous winners listed below! You can also read about the past experiences of Maine’s USSYP delegates in their own words:

2021 - Iann Leigh

2021 - Hilton Scott Peterson

2020 - Elena Clothier

2020 - Michael Delorge

2019 - Joseph Bergeon

2019 - Jay Philbrick

2018 - Caroline Baldacci

2018 - Virginia Hugo-Vidal