Superintendent's Memo #211-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 5, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: United States Senate Youth Program (Scholarship Opportunity for High School Juniors and Seniors)

The Virginia Department of Education will select two student delegates to represent Virginia in the United States Senate Youth Program sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.  Each delegate will receive a $5,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March 2012.

Each public and private high school may submit one nominee.  That nominee will take an examination that tests the individual’s knowledge of the United States Constitution and the government, including current government officials.  The administration of the examination must be supervised by a teacher or administrator at the student’s school.  The completed examination will be sent to the Virginia Department of Education where it will be scored.  Two state delegates and two alternates will be selected based on the results of their examinations and information included in their applications.  A panel of judges appointed by the Virginia Department of Education will select the delegates and alternates.  The examination results, outstanding academic ability, and demonstrated qualities of leadership and community service will be considered when selecting the two state delegates and two alternates.

Nominees must be juniors or seniors who have not previously been delegates, and who are serving during the 2011-2012 school year in an elected or selected capacity in a student government or related organization such as: student body or class president, vice-president, secretary or treasurer, representative to the student council or district, and regional or state-level civic or educational organization.

The nominees should possess the following qualities:

Each nominee must be a permanent resident of the United States and currently enrolled in a public or private secondary school located in the state in which either one of his or her parents or guardians legally resides.  A student attending a school that is located in a state other than the state of legal residence of either of the student’s parents or guardians is not eligible.

Detailed information about the United States Senate Youth Program may be found at  A nomination form is attached, and must be postmarked to the Virginia Department of Education no later than September 30, 2011.  An examination will be mailed to the school counselor or designated contact at the student’s school by October 14, 2011.  The completed examination must be postmarked no later than November 4, 2011, to:

Dr. Beverly Thurston
Office of Standards, Curriculum, and Instruction
Virginia Department of Education
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

Notification of selected delegates will occur by the end of December 2011.  For further information, please contact Dr. Beverly Thurston, coordinator of history and social sciences, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.



  1. Student Application 2012 United States Senate Youth Program (Word)