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2018 United States Senate Youth Program

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
August 16, 2017

Dear High School Principals, Counselors, and Scholarship Coordinators:


I am pleased to announce the 56th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the California Department of Education (CDE) coordinates this competition for outstanding junior or seniors who are interested in pursuing careers in public service. All public and private high schools in the state are invited to nominate up to two juniors or seniors to participate.

Four finalists, consisting of two delegates and a first alternate and second alternate, will be selected by the CDE to be California’s USSYP representatives. The delegates will participate in a week of intensive study of the federal government as guests of the United States Senate from March 3–10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The Hearst Foundation will pay expenses for the delegates, including transportation to and from D.C., lodging, and meals. In addition, each of the delegates will receive a $10,000 college scholarship from the Foundation. Alternates attend the events in Washington only if the delegates are unable to participate.

Students must be nominated by their high school principal, and principals may nominate up to two students. Nominated students must be high school junior or seniors currently serving in an elected or appointed capacity in a student government, civic, or educational organization for the entire 2017–18 school year. In addition, nominated students must be a permanent resident of the United States and currently enrolled in a California public or private secondary school.

The application and scholarship information on the 2018 USSYP may be found on the CDE USSYP Web page at The deadline to apply is Wednesday, October 4, 2017.

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and I established the California Task Force on K–12 Civic Learning which produced the report, Revitalizing K–12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action. The report highlights the importance of our students gaining civic skills so that they become informed voters and community members. It is available on the CDE Civic Education Initiatives Web page at

If you have any questions regarding the USSYP, please contact Dina Fong, U.S. Senate Youth Program Coordinator by phone at 916-319-0551 or by e-mail at, or David Carriker, U.S. Senate Youth Program Assistant, by phone at 916-319-0173 or by e-mail at


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Friday, August 18, 2017

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