DATE: August 10, 2018
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: James F. Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction

2019 United States Senate Youth Program (Scholarship Opportunities 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 (USSYP) sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Each delegate will receive a $10,000 scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the week of March 2-9, 2019.

Each public and private high school may submit up to three applications. Applications will be reviewed and accepted applicants will take the Public Affairs examination.  The exam is designed to test knowledge of the United States government, the United States Constitution, American History, and knowledge of public affairs and current events. Completed examinations will be sent to the Virginia Department of Education where they will be scored. A panel of judges appointed by the Virginia Department of Education will consider the examination results, outstanding academic ability, and demonstrated qualities of leadership and community service when selecting the two state delegates and two alternates to represent the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Selected delegates must hold a leadership position in any one of the following student government, civic, or educational organizations during the entire 2018-2019 academic year:

Participation or holding an officer position in academic clubs and/or educational competition programs/conferences do not qualify a student for USSYP, although many students who qualify participate in these activities.

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 United States Senate Youth: This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website. . An application is attached and must be emailed to Christonya Brown at, by Friday, September 28, 2018, and a hardcopy of the nomination form with the original signatures must be postmarked to Ms. Christonya Brown at the Virginia Department of Education no later than September 28, 2018. An examination will be mailed to the designated contact person at the student’s school by Friday, October 12, 2018. The completed examination must be postmarked no later than Friday, November 2, 2018, to:



  1. Student Application 2019 United States Senate Youth Program