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2017 United States Senate Youth Program

California Qualifying Examination for the 2017 U.S. Senate Youth Program.

Directions: Please type your responses on a separate page. Label each page with your name and your school name.

Section 1

Answer in 300 words or less.

  1. Why are you applying to the U.S. Senate Youth Program and what do you hope to gain from your participation?  What sets you apart from other California delegates applying for this program?

Section 2

Answer the following questions in 150 words or less for each response:

  1. Describe at least two ways in which public participation in elections in the United States can be increased.
  2. Do you think that California students should have to pass a test on civics and/or political knowledge to graduate from high school? Why or why not?
  3. What do you feel are two vital issues facing the United States today and why?

Section 3

Answer the following questions in 150 words or less for each response:

  1. Describe a non-school political campaign or electoral activity in which you participated (e.g., phoning for candidates, voter registration, volunteering at polls, signature gathering, etc.). Discuss what you learned from it.
  2. Describe what happened at a local government meeting (e.g., board of education, city council, county board of supervisors, etc.) that you attended. Discuss what you learned from it.

Extra Credit:

  1. Describe what you learned from writing a letter to the editor on a political or civic issue that was published in your school newspaper, local newspaper, or a Web site or blog. Enclose a copy of it with this application package.

Section 4

Respond to one of the following five prompts with a well-written and logically organized essay of 750 words or less. Address all parts of the prompt and include specific details and/or examples to support your response.

  1. Discuss the impact of Independent Expenditure Committees, Super PACs, and large scale fundraising on governance. What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the role of money in our democracy?
  2. What do you believe the role of newscasters and the media in the democratic process should be? Are they the framers of national debates, opinion makers, or do they simply relay facts to the public? Your response can answer any of these questions or address the role of newscasters and the media in a way you see fit.
  3. Is the current system of choosing the two major parties’ presidential nominees through state primaries and caucuses well-suited to produce the most qualified candidates possible? How would you reform the process by which the major parties choose their nominees?
  4. The United States government, by most accounts, has yet to fully address climate change. A cap and trade system which was meant to deal with climate change failed to garner enough votes to pass the Senate. What role should the United States government play in protecting the environment and in looking for reliable energy solutions?
Questions:   David Carriker | dcarriker@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0173
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 10, 2016