Louisiana Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
-- Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $5000 Scholarship--
Senators Mary L. Landrieu and David Vitter today announced the names of the two students who have been selected as delegates to the 48th Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 6 – 13, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Jarrod Jackson of Bossier City and Jessica Salley of Covington were chosen from hundreds of applicants to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 48th 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.
Jarrod Jackson is President of the Student Council at Parkway High School. Jarrod has been a student leader since 2006. He has participated in the Louisiana High School Speech League for the past three years, and is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Beta Club. Jarrod plans to attend Howard University, with a major in Communications and a minor in Political Science.
Jessica Salley is Vice-President of the Student Council at Covington High School. She has completed the majority of her academic classes in the gifted education program and has earned a 4.6667 cumulative GPA, the highest in her class of 354. Jessica also is founder of Global Citizens Corp. She plans to attend Brown University.
Chosen as alternates to the 2010 program were Piyush Prem, a resident of Monroe, who attends Ouachita Christian School and Ella Watkins, a resident of Shreveport, who attends Loyola College Prep.
The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s delegates were designated by Mr. Paul G. Pastorek, State Superintendent of Education.
While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senate leadership, other 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 outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, this year’s students rank academically in the top one percent of their states. 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; 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, Governor-Elect for New Jersey Christopher Christie, military officers, Foreign Service Officers, members of State Legislatures, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.
Members of the USSYP 2010 48th Annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Co-Chairs — Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania and Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Advisory Committee — Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Senator Mark L. Pryor of Arkansas, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Senator Susan M. Collins of Maine, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio. Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Vice President of the United States.