WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced Princeton High School student Grace May will join Sens. Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth in representing Illinois in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7-14.
May, along with Bryson Connor of Dwight, were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Sens. 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.”
Each year, this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — to Washington, D.C., for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.
May, a junior at Princeton High School, serves as the junior class treasurer. She has served as her class treasurer since her freshman year. In this role, she has supported her school through fundraising events and the coordination of homecoming court elections. Additionally, she served on Illinois state Sen. Chuck Weaver’s Youth Advisory Council, where she has met with peers to discuss current events and participate in congressional simulations. She was also chosen to represent her school at the Illinois Central South region of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference, where she now serves as an alumni ambassador.