U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker congratulated John Angle of Franklin and Richard Herron of Dresden for being chosen as delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program’s (USSYP) 47th annual Washington Week, held March 7 – 14, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Angle and Herron are among 104 student delegates chosen from across the country.
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 at that time, was “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and 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 foundation grants each of the 104 student delegates a $5,000 college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are provided by the foundation, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds are utilized.
John Angle attends Franklin High School where he currently serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the Student Council. In addition, John is President of Youth in Government, Vice President of the TN Model UN, and President of the Interact Club. He is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society and National Honor Society. He volunteered in the Katrina cleanup and for Habitat for Humanity. He enjoys reading, traveling, golf and politics. After college and law school, John hopes to pursue a career in politics and public service.
Richard Herron is Vice President of the senior class at Dresden High School. Rick, a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and an Eagle Scout, is captain of the school cross-country team and a presenter for The Climate Project. He is passionate about environmental issues and plans to attend a liberal arts college, do post graduate work in law education or business, and pursue a career in public service and politics.
Chosen as alternates to the 2009 program were Raven Rice, a resident of Bluff City, who attends Sullivan East High and Noel Thompson, a resident of Oak Ridge, who attends Oak Ridge High School.
The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s delegates were designated by Dr. Timothy K. Webb, Commissioner of Education.
While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senate leadership, other Senators and Congressional staff; the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an Ambassador to the United States and top 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 downtown Washington, D.C.
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, this year’s students rank academically in the top one percent of their states. They continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate; Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt; former Presidential Advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional distinguished alumni are former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Christopher Christie, military officers, Foreign Service Officers, members of State Legislatures, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.
Members of the USSYP 2009 47th Annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Co-Chairs — Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Advisory Committee — Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Senator John B. Ensign of Nevada, Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Senator Mel Martinez of Florida. Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Vice President of the United States.