Superintendent’s Memo #205-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 14, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2016 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., for the week of March 5-12, 2016.

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 are eligible to apply provided they are currently serving, for the entire 2015-2016 academic year, in an elected or appointed capacity in any one of the following student government, civic or educational organizations: student body president, vice president, secretary or student council representative, student representative elected or appointed (appointed by a panel, commission, or board) to a district, regional, or state-level civic and/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.  Students from Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) overseas will represent the state(s) in which the parents/guardians are U.S. legal voting residents. Students attending DoDEA schools in the U.S. or students enrolled through U.S. military bases in local schools will represent the state in which their school is located.  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 25, 2015.  An examination will be mailed to the school counselor or designated contact person at the student’s school by October 9, 2015.  The completed examination must be postmarked no later than October 30, 2015, to:

Ms. Christonya B. Brown
Coordinator of History and Social Science
Office of Humanities and Early Childhood
Virginia Department of Education
P. O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

Notification of selected delegates will occur by the end of December 2015.  For further information, please contact Ms. Christonya Brown, coordinator of history and social science, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.



  1. Student Application 2016 United States Senate Youth Program (Word)