Sunday, January 20, 2008

Students Named to U.S. Senate Youth Program

U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson have announced that two Georgia students will be among 104 delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program March 1-March 8 in Washington D.C. The students will also each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

The winners were Logan Krusac of Campbell High School in Cobb County and Alan Binder of Greater Atlanta Christian School in Gwinnett County. Chosen as alternates were Cameron Day of Trion (City) High School and Joshua Buttenhoff, of Northwest Whitfield High School in Whitfield County.

Students are nominated by their teachers and principals and are interviewed by staff members from the Georgia Department of Education. The winning delegates are submitted by State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox.

"Congratulations to Logan and Alan for being chosen to represent the great state of Georgia at the United States Senate Youth Program. This will be an experience that will change their lives," Superintendent Cox said. "I also want to congratulate our alternates and all those who were nominated by their teachers and principals."

Release from the Senate:

Georgia Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
-- Students Headed to Washington and to Receive $5000 Scholarship

Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson today announced the names of the two Georgia students who have been selected as delegates to the 46th Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 1 – 8, 2008 in Washington, D.C. Alan Blinder of Norcross and Logan Krusac of Acworth were chosen from hundreds of applicants to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 46th 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 William Randolph Hearst Foundation 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 foundation grants each of the 104 student delegates a $5,000 college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are provided by the foundation, as stipulated in S.Res.324; no government funds are utilized.

Alan Blinder is Class President at the Greater Atlanta Christian School. His leadership activities include: Treasurer of the National Honor Society, Managing Editor of the Literary Magazine and National Chairman and Executive Director of Teens for Bush. Alan also is active with the Beta Club, Envirothon, Forensics Team, Civic Leadership Development Program, and the International Studies Program. He plans to pursue an interdisciplinary degree in neuroscience.

Logan Krusac is Student Council President at Campbell High School. Logan also serves as Governor of Georgia Boys State and lead prosecutor of Mock Trial. He is active in Model United Nations, Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra, Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Summit, CNN Leadership Unplugged, Economics for Leaders, and National Student Leadership Conference. He plans to pursue a degree in political science.

Chosen as alternates to the 2008 program were Cameron Day, a resident of Summerville, who attends Trion High School and Joshua Buttenhoff, a resident of Tunnel Hill, who attends Northwest Whitfield 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 Ms. Kathy Cox,
State Superintendent of Schools.

While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senate leadership, other 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 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; Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt; former Presidential Advisor Karl Rove and former Presidential Advisor Thomas "Mack" McLarty. Additional distinguished alumni are former Lt. Governor of Idaho David LeRoy, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Christopher Christie, military officers, Foreign Service Officers, members of State Legislatures, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.

Members of the USSYP 2008 46th Annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Co-Chairs — Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas. Advisory Committee — Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, Senator Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Vice President of the United States.

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