Two Edmonds School District high school students — one attending Edmonds-Woodway and one attending Mountlake Terrace — have been selected as delegates to the 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 8-15 in Washington, D.C.
MTHS student William Khadivi of Lynnwood and EWHS student Mitchell Wahlmeier of Mountlake Terrace were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 52nd annual Washington Week.
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 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 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. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; no government funds are utilized.
Khadivi is a senior at Mountlake Terrace High School and serves as the Senior Class president. He would like to change the world through public service. He has been involved in shaping the culture and climate of his school through his involvement in various clubs and activities during all four years of high school. Khadivi plans to attend a four-year university next year pursuing a degree in political science and immediately get involved in student government and activities.
Wahlmeier is a senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds and serves as the Student Body vice president and the Edmonds Local Association representative to the Washington Board. She is a role model in academics as an International Baccalaureate candidate, with a focus on student leadership and community service. Wahlmeier hopes to pursue a career in public service after earning her four year degree at either Goucher College or Simon Fraser University.
The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s delegates were designated by Randy Dorn, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
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 1 percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors.