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. Each year, two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity spend a week in Washington, D.C., experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies. Delegates also participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, each delegate will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses are provided by the Hearst Foundations.

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 in a Maine school.
  3. Students must have been elected or appointed to one of the following posts for the current school year:
    • 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 2018-19

  • August: Informational packets and specific instructions mailed to high school principals and headmasters. Each principal may nominate one eligible student for consideration.
  • Oct. 5: Deadline for completed applications to be sent via post to: Joe Schmidt, USSYP Coordinator; Maine Department of Education; 23 State House Station; Augusta, Maine 04333.
    • Applications must be postmarked by October 5, 2018 to be eligible.
  • Oct. 23: Up to 10 finalists will be notified of advancement to the final round.
  • November 5: The 10 finalists will convene at the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan for interviews with a selection committee.
  • December: The two finalists and two alternates will be announced.

Application information:
2019 U.S. Senate Youth Program Brochure
2018 U.S. Senate Youth Program Yearbook

2018-19 Application Materials

Read about the past experiences of Maine’s USSYP delegates in their own words:

2018 - Caroline Baldacci

2018 - Virginia Hugo-Vidal