Recent Press Releases

Selection Process for United States Senate Youth Program is Underway

Two South Dakota High School Students Will Be Selected for Washington, D.C., Program

August 1, 2016

WASHINGTON  U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) announced the annual statewide selection process for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) has begun. Two South Dakota high school juniors or seniors will join student delegates from around the country to participate in the USSYP’s 55th annual Washington Week, which will take place March 4-11, 2017, in Washington, D.C. 

“Every student leader in South Dakota who is interested in learning more about the U.S. Senate, the intricacies of the federal government, or the importance of public service should consider applying for this program today,” said Thune. “The USSYP is such a unique opportunity that provides student delegates with access to events and locations around the nation’s capital as well as the leaders who help run our government.”

“The U.S. Senate Youth Program is a unique educational experience with a focus on developing leadership skills for high school students,” said Rounds. “I would encourage any South Dakota high school student who has an interest in learning more about policy making or public service to apply to this prestigious program.”

Each of the student delegates will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for next year’s program. During their trip to Washington, student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, and the Supreme Court, among other locations, and will meet with policymakers, which in the past have included members of Congress, the president, and cabinet secretaries.  

Students interested in applying for next year’s program can find more information by visiting the South Dakota Department of Education website or by contacting Mark Gageby (, the South Dakota selection administrator, or their school’s principal.

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, September 23, 2016, and the names of the students who have been selected will be formally announced in December.