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 62nd annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week is being planned to be held in person in Washington, D.C. March 2–9, 2024. The national deadline for all states to submit their delegate selections is December 1, 2023.
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. Students must be actively serving in high-level elected or appointed leadership positions to qualify to apply.
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 usually participate in meetings with the president and 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.
Rising high school juniors and seniors may obtain a USSYP application through their high school principals, school counselors, and social studies teachers OR they may inquire directly to their state selection contact at the Arizona Department of Education:
All student delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program are selected by state-level education officials at the Arizona Department of Education.
Please refer to the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) National program eligibility requirements for complete details Keep in mind that public service is the core mission of this program.
To apply for the U.S. Senate Youth Program in Arizona, a student must meet a minimum of the following criteria:
Be a junior or senior in their 11th or 12th grade year of high school.
Students applying for the U.S. Senate Youth Program opportunity should be participating in and able to show a history, prior to the year of application submission, of leadership, public service, and government or civic-related activities.
Currently be enrolled in an Arizona public, private, charter school, or home school.
Be a legal permanent resident or citizen of the United States at the time of application (no exceptions).
Have at least one parent or guardian who is a legal resident of Arizona.
Be currently serving in an elected or appointed leadership position in any one of the following during the entire academic school year:
Student Body President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer
Class President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer
Student Council Representative
JROTC Officer or Commander (not just a member)
National Honor Society Officer (this may include a discipline-based Honor Society that incorporates service components, e.g., the National English Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, etc.)
Student representative elected or appointed (by a panel, commission, or board) to a local, district, regional, or state-level civic, service, and/or educational organization approved by the state selection administration.
Students must be able to show demonstrated leadership by serving in elected or appointed positions in which they are actively representing a constituency in organizations related to student government, education, public affairs, and community service.
The organization a student uses to qualify as meeting eligibility requirements must have a service component.
October 16th, 2023: Arizona Application due.
October 30th, 2023: Top 10 Arizona finalists notified.
Week of November 13th, 2023: Official Exam and Finalist Interviews, at the Arizona Department of Education in Phoenix, AZ.
Week of December 4th, 2023: Arizona Delegates and Alternates announced.
Required Essay Responses: 2 Written and 1 Video.
Written essay responses should be typed and no more than 500 words. Essays will be checked for originality and evaluated for a cohesive, research-based argument; any outside sources must be appropriately cited.
ALL Essay responses must be included in the final submission.
Submit a personal essay describing each of the following elements as they pertain to you:
Current elected student position held and all past involvement in student government/leadership;
Activities and achievements that demonstrate leadership in school and community that specifically support your desire to serve as your USSYP State delegate;
Involvement in community service initiatives or programs outside of school;
How your participation in USSYP will enhance your understanding and interest in the political and governmental process of the United States; Share ways in which you think being chosen for the U.S. Senate Youth Program will help you explore some of the most important questions you have at present about the challenges facing the country.
Submit a persuasive essay researched and written on a topic of social significance related to a contemporary state, national, or world event. Select a topic important to you, take a stand, relate its import to you, and defend your position. The essay will be judged on organization, ideas and content, evidence of personalization, and writing conventions including citation of sources.
Video ESSAY: Public speaking is a core component of the USSYP. Each student applicant should prepare a short video presentation, no more than 3 minutes in length, as part of the 2024 application, to be judged for public speaking skill, vocabulary, originality, organization of presentation, knowledge of any material or content presented, clarity of artwork (charts, graphs, slides if used) and overall presentation.
Video Essay Instructions: Please submit a video presentation of no more than 3 minutes in length on this topic: Imagine that you are a newly elected Senator from (STATE. Describe who you are, why yand ou are proud to represent (STATE). Tell us the personal characteristics you feel will make you an effective leader in Washington. Note what legislative initiatives you will champion and why they are important to you and your constituents. Please note any historical leadership figures you would like to emulate.
Past Arizona Recipients
Emma Curtright, Kayenta Monument Valley High School