United States Senate Youth Program

 2016-2017 United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program


The United States Senate Youth Program, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. The 55th annual program will be held in Washington, D.C., from March 4 – 11, 2017. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.

For more information, please visit: http://ussenateyouth.org/

To view the 2016-2017 Program Brochure, please click here.

Scholarship Rules:

These rules will govern the award of the $10,000 Scholarship:

  • A student must participate in the Washington Week. If a selected student is unable to participate, merits of his or her reasons will be considered by the program director relative to the scholarship award.
  • A student must, within two years after high school graduation, enroll at an accredited United States college or university and attend courses in government or related subjects to his or her undergraduate program.

How to Qualify:

  • Students must be a permanent resident of the State of Arizona and currently enrolled as a junior or senior in a public or private secondary school.
  • Students must be currently serving in an elected capacity in a student organization.
  • High school counselors will administer a written test covering U.S. Constitution, bill of rights history, political leaders, and Arizona government. Students scoring in the top 10% will be invited to interview before a panel of judges. The panel then selects two students to go to Washington to represent Arizona.

Delegates are selected through the Arizona Department of Education. For more detailed information, visit the Web site at http://ussenateyouth.org/ and contact your high school principal or counselor, who will be responsible for administering the program.

How to Apply:

Complete the Student Application and Additional Documents Requested: 2016- 2017 application

  • Attach the required essay questions to the application
  • Include at least one letter of recommendation with the application (cannot be from a parent or family member)
  • Completed applications and all supporting additional documents must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 11, 2016 to the ADE Program Coordinator

Once the application is received, ADE will mail testing materials to be completed by the applicant

  • Exam must be administered by a high school counselor, principal or school scholarship coordinator to ensure integrity of the exam
  • Testing materials are due to ADE by Friday, November 4, 2016
  • To prepare for the examination, students are advised to study the Constitution, review general knowledge about American history, the U.S. government and political processes and know the current elected and appointed official in each branch of government as well as key historic figures who have served in each branch. Senate Youth delegates are always up to speed on current events in the political world, at home and abroad, and keeping current with political news and newsmakers will be very helpful.

You will be contacted on Friday November 11, 2016 if you are a finalist

  • Finalist interviews will be conducted on Friday, November 18th
  • All applicants will be notified by email if they are not a finalist
  • Winners will be notified in December


Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Arizona Department of Education
U.S. Senate Youth Program Coordinator: Alexis Burkhart
1535 West Jefferson, Bin 2
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Tel.: (602) 542-3309
Fax: (602) 542-5440
Program Coordinator: Alexis Susdorf
Email: [email protected]


 Tuesday, Oct. 11:   Applications must be postmarked by no later than this date.
 Friday, Oct. 14:  Testing packets shall be sent.
 Friday, Nov. 04:    All testing materials are due (not postmarked!) to ADE.
 Friday, Nov. 11:  Top 10 percent of Arizona test-takers will be notified of finalist status.
 Friday, Nov. 18:  Finalists will be interviewed at 1535 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix.
 December:       Winners will be notified.
 March 4-12, 2017:  Winners will spend one week in Washington, D.C.


2015-2016 Winners:

Lydia Chew
Hamilton High School

Chandler, AZ

Ryley Goulet
Mesquite High School 

Gilbert, AZ

Lydia Chew (2nd delegate)Lydia Chew attends Hamilton High School and serves on the Chandler Mayor’s Youth Commission. Her experiences as president of Model United Nations inducted her into the world of international relations, and she continues to expand her knowledge of United States government through We the People. She encourages voter registration and is a strong proponent of civic education and political activism. As president of Spanish Honor Society and Key Club, she is also a committed community leader.

 Ryley Goulet (1st Delegate)

Ryley Goulet is a senior at Gilbert’s Mesquite High School and serves as the president and peer mentor of his school’s speech and debate team. From the moment he began debating as a freshman, he knew that he had discovered a true passion. His interest in debate also transcends other aspects of his life, leading him to take on roles in Inspire Arizona, and the Gilbert Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council as well as carrying a part-time job. He wishes to study economics and international relations in college.

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