CHEYENNE – Thomas Lubnau III of Gillette and Harriet Pimentel of Powell have been chosen to serve as Wyoming’s delegates for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). The delegates will join Senator Michael Enzi and Senator John Barrasso in representing Wyoming in the nation’s capital during the 56th annual USSYP Washington Week, set for March 3-10, 2018. Each student also will receive a $10,000 college scholarship from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Thomas Lubnau III attends Campbell County High School and serves as president of Wyoming DECA, a student organization with a focus on business and entrepreneurship. He is captain of both Team Wyoming and Gillette Hockey Association. He is a Congressional Award gold medalist, Boys State U.S. senator and speaker of the House and former Student Body and Class President. Tom shares two national championship titles: DECA travel and tourism decision making and U16 hockey. He is active in charitable work and fundraising. Tom attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program and the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar. He would like to attend a military academy, earn a degree in management and serve his country.
Harriet “Hattie” Pimentel attends Powell High School and serves as the parliamentarian, historian and treasurer for her school’s National Honor Society. She is also active in the robotics club, Varsity tennis team, the math team, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the ice hockey team. She has attended the High School Summer Institute and Girl’s State and works on her family’s ranch. Hattie taught classes with the Powell Makerspace, the Hour of Code program, and the 4-H Robotics Club. She organizes and teaches the Girls Maker Club, and created a computer program for the Powell Makerspace. She has testified to state legislators about a proposed computer science education bill. Hattie plans to major in computer science and get a law degree.
While in Washington, the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior 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.
Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Wyoming delegates and alternates were designated by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
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 student with a $10,000 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.
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Kari Eakins, Communications Director