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West High Student Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Utah Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
Students to Participate in Online Program and to Receive $10,000 Scholarship  


January 11, 2022, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Arundhati Bonney Oommen and Ms. Neve Skye Rauscher will join Senator Mike Lee and Senator Mitt Romney in representing Utah during the 60th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 6 — 9, 2022. Arundhati Oommen of Salt Lake City and Neve Rauscher, also of Salt Lake City, were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2022 program will be held online, through a comprehensive and highly interactive virtual education and leadership forum.

Arundhati Oommen, a senior at West High School, serves as the District 7 Student Advisory Council representative to the Utah State Board of Education. She is a former student board member for the Salt Lake City School District, has a passion for youth involvement and youth engagement, and works to bring young voices to the table. She brought House Bill 338 to the Utah Legislature, which would create a student voter pilot project for local school board elections. She is a student representative on the HCR015 Civics Taskforce and has worked with the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office on representative youth programs and with the Racial Equity in Policing Commission to ensure the safety and success of both students and officers. Arundhati plans on attending a full-time university in the fall to pursue a career in public service.

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 Senate leadership of the day, 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 provides the most outstanding high school students - two from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity - with 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. All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

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