CHEYENNE – Zoe Marie Crisp and Grace Fain Steenbergen will join Senator John Barrasso and Senator Cynthia Lummis in representing Wyoming during the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week, set for March 14—17, 2021.
Zoe Crisp of Jackson and Grace Steenbergen of Burns were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 program will break ground as the first-ever fully virtual Washington Week, and is designed to be a highly interactive and exciting education and leadership forum for the nation’s most outstanding student leaders.
The USSYP was established by the U.S. Senate in 1962, and provides an educational experience for students interested in public service careers. The program provides an in-depth view of the Senate and federal government, as well as a deeper understanding of the relationships between the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Branches. During the program week, the student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies and senior members of the national media, among others.
Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide, 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 Jillian Balow, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Zoe Crisp, a senior at Jackson Hole High School, serves as the co-president of the student council, and has assisted new high school students and parents in the incoming Ninth Grade Open House, acted as a student peer tutor to Middle School students in the Student to Student Peer Tutoring program, assisted local veterans during the schoolwide annual Veterans Day event, completed a community based internship at the Mannen and Browne Law Firm as a part of completion of the Jackson Hole High School School to Career Program, and has facilitated many school wide events. One of these events included the organization of student to student round table discussions, where students from all backgrounds and grades discussed race, equality and inclusion for all. Zoe’s future plans include majoring in political science at the College of Charleston and then law school.
Grace Steenbergen, a junior at Burns Junior-Senior High School, serves as the vice president of the student council. Grace is a leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Future Business Leaders of America, 4-H, and the Future Farmers of America, where she has served as the Greenhand president, secretary and reporter over several years. She volunteers with the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, the Wyoming Hunger Initiative and the Wyoming Equality Group. Grace earned her bronze and silver Wyoming Congressional Award medals and served as the Intermediate National Ambassador for the American Gelbvieh Association. Grace’s future plans include graduating high school in 2022, and attending Oklahoma State University where she will focus her undergraduate studies in animal science and biochemistry. She plans to earn a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.
Chosen as alternates to the 2021 program are both residents of Laramie, Collin Krueger, and Leila Johnson, who attend Laramie High School.
Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most exceptional 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. However, this year, the program will be held online. The 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.
For more information, visit: www.ussenateyouth.org
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Linda Finnerty, Communications Director