Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte announced the names of the two students who have been selected as delegates to the 49th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 5 – 12, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Patrick Church of Lancaster and Megan MacInnes of Francestown were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 49th annual Washington Week.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony was “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”
Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each of the 104 student delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds are utilized.
Patrick Church attends White Mountains Regional High School where he serves as the New Hampshire Youth and Government youth governor and student representative to the School Board. Patrick spent many hours preparing for being elected by his peers to the office of New Hampshire youth governor, the highest possible position in the state’s youth government structure. In addition, Patrick has taken entirely advanced standing or AP classes.
Megan MacInnes attends ConVal High School where she serves as National Honor Society president. Megan MacInnes is always willing to be an advocate for her beliefs and has appeared before the School Board twice on issues she feels strongly about. Megan plans to attend a four-year college and major in political science. Megan has completed two AP courses with a perfect 5 on her U.S. history exam. She is currently enrolled in three AP classes.
Chosen as alternates to the 2011 program were Ryan McGovern, a resident of Exeter, who attends Exeter High School and Eliza Sheff, a resident of Newmarket, who attends Newmarket Junior/Senior High School.
The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s delegates were designated by Virginia Barry, Ph.D, Commissioner Of Education.
While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senators and Congressional staff, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an Ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
In addition to remarkable leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, they continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate; Congressman-elect Cory Gardner of Colorado, the first alumnus to be elected to the House; New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt; former Presidential Advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional distinguished alumni are, former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, Foreign Service Officers, members of State Legislatures, military officers, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.
Members of the USSYP 2011 49th Annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Co-Chairs — Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Senator John Cornyn of Texas. Advisory Committee — Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Senator Kay R. Hagan of North Carolina, Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming , Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Senator James E. Risch of Idaho and Senator Roger F. Wicker of Mississippi. Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Vice President of the United States.
For more information go to www.education.nh.gov/recognition/us_senate.htm.