For Immediate Release
Contact: For questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or selection process, please contact your
state selection administrator: Mr. Charles R. Dunlap at (317)269-2415 or [email protected] For more
general information about the United States Senate Youth Program, please contact Program Director
Rayne Guilford at 800-425-3632,
Indiana Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
-- Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $5000 Scholarship-Senators Richard G. Lugar and Dan Coats today announced the names of the two
students who have been selected as delegates to the 49th annual United States Senate Youth
Program (USSYP) that will be held March 5 – 12, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Florence Chen of
Granger and James Hitchcock of Evansville were chosen from across the state to be part of the
group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 49th 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, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds
are utilized.
Florence Chen is Student Council Senior Class representative at Penn High School. She
also serves as governor of the Hoosier Girls State, captain of Mock Trial, and as a member of
Science and Quiz Bowl. Florence placed sixth place in the National Forensic Tournament.
PAGE –2James Hitchcock is president of the Student Council at Signature School where he also
participates in the Adventure Club, Conservation Club, Linguistics Club, Math Club, and Tennis
Club. In addition, he serves as vice president of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association and
Global Volunteers of the Rotary Club of Evansville.
Chosen as alternates to the 2011 program were Eric Chien, a resident of Zionsville, who
attends Zionsville Community High School and Sameer Mishra, a resident of West Lafayette,
who attends West Lafayette Junior/Senior 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. Tony Bennett,
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 remarkable leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service,
this year’s students rank academically in the top one percent of their states. They continue to
excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the
many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first
program delegate elected to the Senate; Congressman-elect Cory Gardner of Colorado, the first
alumnus to be elected to the House; New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie; former Chief
Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard
Burt; former Presidential Advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional
distinguished alumni are, former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, Foreign Service Officers,
members of State Legislatures, military officers, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers
and university educators.
Members of the USSYP 2011 49th Annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Co-Chairs —
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Senator John Cornyn of Texas. Advisory Committee —
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Senator Kay R. Hagan of North Carolina, Senator
Bernard Sanders of Vermont, Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Senator John Barrasso of
Wyoming , Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Senator James E. Risch of Idaho and
Senator Roger F. Wicker of Mississippi. Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are
the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Vice President of the United States.