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Los Alamos High School Student Miriam Wallstrom Selected For United States Senate Youth Program

on January 18, 2018 - 9:42am

Miriam Elizabeth Wallstrom. Photo by Don Taylor

EDUCATION News: 

Washington, D.C. — The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that Los Alamos High School student Miriam Elizabeth Wallstrom will join Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich in representing New Mexico in the nation’s capital, March 3-10, during the 56th annual USSYP Washington Week.

Wallstrom was selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who also will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study. She serves as president of the Los Alamos High School Key Club and is a National Merit semifinalist, member of the National Honor Society, German National Exam gold medal winner, as well as the leader for the National History Day competition. Wallstrom has an interest in history and may explore opportunities to serve in an elected office in the future.

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 Senators 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 104 of 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 also are provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students also will tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

Aaron Braddock, a junior at Carlsbad Early College High School is the other student selected for the program from New Mexico. Chosen as alternates to the 2018 program are Dominica Ashley Chavez of Santa Rosa High School and Bradley Pace Moffett of Santa Fe High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s New Mexico delegates and alternates were designated by Secretary Designate of Education Christopher Ruszkowski.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,500 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are Senator Susan Collins, the first delegate to be elected to the Senate; Senator Cory Gardner, the first delegate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the second to be elected to the Senate; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, and former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, former President of the Progressive Policy Institute Robert Shapiro, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.

Members of the U. S. Senate Youth Program 2018 annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Republican Co-Chair; Senator Angus S. King, Jr. of Maine, Independent Co-Chair; Bipartisan Senate Advisory Members: John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI). Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders. For more information, visit www.ussenateyouth.org.


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