Thursday February 07, 2013
South Burlington’s Avni Nahar and Owen Lyons have been selected as delegates to the 51st Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 9 – 16, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Lyons and Nahar were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 51st 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 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 of the 104 student delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.
Owen Lyons attends Rice Memorial High School and serves as Student Body president. In addition, Owen is a member of the National Honor Society and active in sports (cross country, basketball and baseball), drama and music clubs. His principal says “The students respect [Owen] as a leader. His humble self-confidence inspires others to have confidence in him.” In the future, Owen would like a career that allows him to negotiate and articulate his beliefs while working with others in a leadership capacity.
Avni Nahar attends South Burlington High School and serves as Student Body vice president. In addition, Avni is co-captain of the debate team, and vice-president of National Honor Society. She is founder and managing editor of the high school arts and literary magazine, Rebellion, which showcases student creativity. Avni also is involved in the girls’ cross country team, the First Light Theater Project, and the South Barrington Reparative Board. Avni is interested in a career focused on international relations and human rights.
Riya Patel, a resident of South Burlington who attends South Burlington High School, was
chosen as an alternate to the 2013 delegation.
While in Washington, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with 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 volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,000 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 U.S. Senator; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first delegate to be elected governor; Congressman Cory Gardner, the first delegate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; 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.
SOURCE: United States Senate Youth Program