Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

United States Senate Youth Program

Annual scholarship competition administered by the California Department of Education.

The 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week will be held March 4–11, 2023. The program may be held online pending public health guidance and the status of large group access to the government venues traditionally visited. If held in person, all delegates will be required to be fully vaccinated and boosted to attend.

All eligible students are encouraged to apply. A final decision regarding the in-person program will be determined in the fall of 2022, with adequate time for students to complete the full vaccination series prior to travel. If held online, vaccination status will not be required. Students must attend the program to receive the scholarship. Regardless of platform, all student delegates will partake in a comprehensive, interactive leadership program in the stated timeframe.

Two students from each state will be selected to attend the program, and each will be awarded a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2022–2023 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgment of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.

Please view the 2022 USSYP Washington Week ONLINE Digital Yearbook External link opens in new window or tab. events from the 2022 USSYP program.

Background

In 1962, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution creating the USSYP, a national nonpartisan initiative to provide an annual opportunity for talented high school students with demonstrated leadership abilities to deepen their understanding of America's political processes and strengthen their resolve to pursue careers in public service. Each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity select two student delegates to participate in the USSYP.

The delegates from each state are awarded a $10,000 college scholarship and participate in Washington Week during the spring to deepen their understanding of America's political processes and strengthen their interest and desire for a career in public service. Due to the pandemic, the 2022 conference was held virtually.

Students must be nominated by their high school principal to be considered for the USSYP and cannot apply to the USSYP directly.

Important:
  • Nominated students must be high school juniors or seniors currently serving in an elected or appointed leadership capacity in a student government, civic, or educational organization for the entire school year for which they are applying.

  • Students must be actively serving in qualified leadership positions and actively representing a constituency in organizations that relate to government, education, public affairs, and/or community service.

  • Students must be permanent residents of the United States, currently enrolled in a California public or private secondary school, and live in the state they will represent for the entire academic year for which they are applying.

  • The deadline to apply for the 2023 program is Thursday, October 6, 2022.

Instructions and Nomination Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Information

  • William Randolph Hearst Foundation External link opens in new window or tab.
    Information from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation's website regarding the United States Senate Youth Program as well as a copy of their USSYP brochure.

Contact Us

For further information, please send an email to ussyp@cde.ca.gov.

  • Dina Fong, U.S. Senate Youth Program Coordinator
  • David Carriker, U.S. Senate Youth Program Assistant

News Releases for California USSYP Delegates and Alternates

Questions:   USSYP | ussyp@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 1, 2022
Trending in Transforming Schools: Superintendent’s Initiatives
Recently Posted in Transforming Schools: Superintendent’s Initiatives
  • Antibias Education (added 03-Aug-2022)
    Antibias Education combats bias, bigotry, and racism by empowering educators and students with necessary tools.
  • Expanded Learning Programs (added 03-Aug-2022)
    The Expanded Learning Programs Initiative focuses on supporting students beyond the normal school hours to develop their academic, social, emotional, and physical needs and interests.
  • Universal Meals (added 03-Aug-2022)
    The Universal Meals Initiative showcases the importance of students obtaining meals in order to reach their full academic potential.
  • Universal Prekindergarten (added 03-Aug-2022)
    The Universal Prekindergarten includes transitional kindergarten and the California State Preschool Program.
  • Mental Health Support (added 03-Aug-2022)
    The Mental Health Support Initiative focuses on supporting all students and fostering school communities where all students feel supported, respected, and valued.

  • Professional Learning (added 03-Aug-2022)
    The Professional Learning Initiative focuses on providing proactive teacher support to allow educators to be successful in reaching our students.
  • Community Schools (added 03-Aug-2022)
    The California Community Schools Partnership Program will transform educational outcomes for our most vulnerable students through establishing whole child, whole family, and whole community connections at the school sites.