Hoeven, Heitkamp Encourage North Dakota Students to Apply for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Educational Program Gives High School Students Chance to Spend Week in Washington Observing Federal Government in Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp announced that the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) has begun its annual statewide selection process and encouraged North Dakota students to apply.

The two North Dakota students will join 102 other delegates March 5 – 12, 2016 for the program’s 54th annual Washington Week.

“We encourage North Dakota high school students to apply for the prestigious U.S. Senate Youth Program that takes place each year in Washington,” the senators said in a joint statement. “This program offers two of North Dakota’s brightest students the unique opportunity to represent our state as they connect with peers from across the nation to get a firsthand look at our federal government, expand their knowledge, and cultivate skills that will serve them well in their future studies and professional endeavors.”

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 as stated in supporting Senate testimony from that year, “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationship 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.” 

Since that time, more than 5,000 students have participated in this unique leadership program. Each year, the United States Senate Youth Program brings two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to Washington to experience an intensive week-long educational program about the workings of the Senate and the federal government overall. USSYP is sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations — no government funds are utilized.  

Each of the 104 student delegates will receive a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship, in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital.

The student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and other historic sites in Washington. The agenda routinely includes meetings with Senators, the President, Cabinet Secretaries, a Justice of the Supreme Court, senior members of the national media and other policymakers.

The delegate selection is administered by each state’s chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals. Delegates must be juniors or seniors and elected student officers for the 2015-2016 academic year, and they must reside in the state where they attend school.  Eligibility considerations may also be made for student representatives elected or selected (by a panel, commission or board) to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations where the delegate is serving a constituency in a high level position for the entire 2015-2016 academic year.

Names of students selected will be formally announced mid-December.  Since application deadlines vary by state, interested students in North Dakota should contact their high school principal or the state-level selection administrator indicated below:

Ms. Patricia A. Laubach

Program Administrator

Ph. (701) 328-4525


The United States Senate Youth Program received notification that the North Dakota selection deadline is: October 15, 2015.

The 2016 program brochure with detailed rules, selection process and the annual yearbook may be accessed on the USSYP website www.ussenateyouth.org