United States Senate Youth Program

2015-2016 United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program

OverviewRulesQualificationsApplication PacketTimeline2014 WinnersContact Information


This program brings two high school juniors and/or seniors from each state to Washington, D.C. for one week to observe the federal government in action. The 104 student delegates are immersed in Washington activities throughout their week’s stay. Visits to the Senate, House of Representatives, the Supreme Court and the Pentagon are interspersed with visits to various Smithsonian museums. Delegates hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense and others.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation will make available to each of the 104 delegates selected to participate in the program a $5,000 scholarship award. Additional information concerning the scholarships will be given to the delegates upon their arrival in Washington.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.hearstfdn.org/ussyp/.

To view the 2016 Program Brochure, please click here.

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Scholarship Rules

These rules will govern the award of the $5,000 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.
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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 Hearst Foundation Web site at www.hearstfdn.org/ussyp and contact your high school principal or counselor, who will be responsible for administering the program. Applications to participate are available at your high school.

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Word PDF Fillable Application
Word Application

 2015-16 Student Application



 Monday, Oct. 12:   Applications must be postmarked by no later than this date.
 Wednesday, Oct. 14:  Testing packets shall be sent.
 Monday, Nov. 09:    All testing materials are due (not postmarked!) at ADE.
 Wednesday, Nov. 11:  Top 10 percent of Arizona test-takers will be notified of finalist status.
 Friday, Nov. 20:  Finalists will be interviewed at 1535 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix.
 December:       Winners will be notified.
 March 5-12, 2016:  Winners will spend one week in Washington, D.C.

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2015 Winners

Grant E. Laufer
Mountain View High School
Mesa, AZ

Austin K. Fairbanks
Desert Mountain High School
Scottsdale, AZ

Grant Laufer is a senior at Mountain View High School and serves as an elected member of the Mesa Mayor’s Youth Committee. He takes great pride in serving as a leader and role model in his school, community and abroad. In the summer of 2013, he was selected as a Youth Scholar for Turkish as part of the National Security Language Initiative. He also serves as president of his school’s Model United Nations team, vice chairman of the school’s conservative club, and treasurer of its math club. He is undecided on what college to attend, but is certain to pursue a career in foreign policy or business.


 Austin Fairbanks is a junior at Desert Mountain High School and serves as the director of public relations for Junior State of America, Arizona Territory. He has a passion for history, governance and politics and is extremely active in both volunteerism and civic activism. Additionally, he represents his Boy Scouts of America troop at the national level. After graduation from high school he plans to major in finance and government.


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Contact Information

Arizona Department of Education
Special Projects & Constituent Services
U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Office
1535 West Jefferson, Bin 2
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Tel.: (602) 364-1972
Fax: (602) 364-1532
Program Coordinator: Sarah Accardi
Email: Sarah.Accardi@azed.gov