Hoeven, Cramer Congratulate North Dakota Students Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

North Dakota Delegates Preeti Chemiti of West Fargo and Hanna Johnson of Colfax in DC This Week as Part of National Student Delegation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer today welcomed Preeti Chemiti of West Fargo and Hanna Johnson of Colfax to Washington, D.C. The students have been selected to serve as delegates for the United States Senate Youth Program’s (USSYP) 57th annual Washington Week, which is taking place this week in the nation’s capital. The program brings students from across the country to Washington, D.C. to participate in an intensive week-long study of the United States government. Each student in the program also receives a $10,000 scholarship from the Hearst Foundation.

“We congratulate Preeti and Hanna on their selection as North Dakota’s delegates for the 2019 U.S. Senate Youth Program,” Hoeven said. “This is an extremely competitive merit-based program, and we are pleased to welcome these outstanding student representatives to Washington. We hope this opportunity provides them with first-hand knowledge about our government and instills in them a lifelong commitment to public service.”

“This program gives young North Dakotans the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of the way the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body works,” Cramer said. “Preeti and Hannah are accomplished students who will be great representatives of our state, and I welcome them to Washington.” 

Preeti Chemiti 

Preeti Chemiti, a senior at West Fargo Sheyenne High School, serves as the president of the Senior Class. She is recognized as the top-ranked speaker in North Dakota by the National Speech and Debate Association, is a three-time national qualifier and holds multiple state championships in Speech, Debate and Student Congress. Additionally, Preeti is a varsity tennis athlete and the North Dakota HOSA state president, an organization for future health professionals. She is a board member of the North Dakota Superintendent’s Student Cabinet and the founder of a mental health organization. Last summer, she attended Girls State and Girls Nation, where she held multiple leadership positions. Her future plans are to study law.

Hanna Johnson 

Hanna Johnson, a junior at Richland Junior-Senior High School, serves as the Student Council vice president. She was named a Joyce Ivy Scholar and attended Harvard’s Secondary School program. She is currently in the North Dakota Honor Society. Hanna is the editor of her school newspaper. Her volunteer service includes the Boston Food Pantry, her church and the 4 Luv of Dog animal rescue. She is developing a nonprofit organization intended to end the stigma surrounding teen mental illness in North Dakota. Hanna’s future plans are to attend Harvard College with a concentration in government and then attend Harvard Law School.

Chosen as alternates to the 2019 program were Ms. Shannon M. Bryn, a resident of Wimbledon who attends Barnes County North Public School, and Mr. Ryan J. Hermes, a resident of Oakes who attends Oakes High School.  

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundation since its inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”