Maryland Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

January 30, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD (January 27, 2012)

Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin today announced the names of the two students who have been selected as delegates to the 50th Anniversary United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 3 – 10, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Douglas Bogan of Elkton and Andrew Wilhelm of Centreville were chosen from across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 50th Anniversary 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, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds are utilized.

Douglas Bryn Bogan attends Bohemia Manor High School and serves as student member to the Board of Education 2011-12. Douglas also served as the editor of the school newspaper and was vice-president of his junior class as well as the local SADD chapter. He played soccer all four years and was captain of the team in his senior year. He has also been an active member of the varsity lacrosse team for the past two years. Bryn is vice-president of his senior class. He is an active Boy Scout and is working on becoming an Eagle Scout. Bryn wants to major in political science and go into law.

Andrew Wilhelm attends Queen Anne’s County High School and serves as Student Council president. Academically, Andrew is ranked in the top 7% of his class with a near perfect GPA. Andrew has taken a most rigorous schedule including honors English, advanced math, and 5 AP courses. Andrew has served in leadership roles in the following organizations: Students Against Destructive Decisions, the Student Government Association, Queen Anne’s County Board, the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, Queen Anne’s County Teen Court, and Maryland Youth Leadership Council.

Chosen as alternates to the 2012 program were Alex Luta, a resident of Bethesda, who attends Walt Whitman High School and Shobhit Kumar, a resident of Finksburg, who attends Westminster 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. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools.

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. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, former President of the Progressive Policy Institute Robert Shapiro, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.

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