Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced last week the names of the two students who have been selected as delegates to the 54th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 5 – 12 in Washington, D.C. Wakefield Country Day School senior Monica Marciano of Front Royal and William “Jack” Shangraw of Sterling were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 54th annual Washington Week.
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 the capital 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 $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.
Monica is a senior at Wakefield Country Day School where she serves as the Key Club vice president, yearbook editor-in-chief, and co-captain of her basketball and soccer teams. She is working toward a career path in law, public policy or business. She hopes Washington Week will provide experiences that will broaden her knowledge base to serve others. Her past activities have included working as a United States Senate Page, attending Virginia Girls State, volunteering with Alzheimer’s patients at her local hospital, and organizing annual coat drives for the homeless.
While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with Senators, Congressman and 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 will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums, and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel.
In addition to exceptional leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates generally rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,000 strong, alumni of the program include Senators Susan Collins and Cory Gardner, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove, as well as military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.