Bolar named delegate to U.S. Senate Youth Program; wins $10,000 scholarship and trip to DC

IMG 9225JOHNSTON, Ia. (Dec. 5, 2022) — Johnston High School senior Esha Bolar was today named one of two Iowa delegates to the prestigious United States Senate Youth Program, which comes with a $10,000 scholarship and an all-expense-paid, weeklong trip to Washington, D.C.

Bolar was chosen from nearly 50 applicants in Iowa this year. She will join Andrew Dong from Iowa City’s West Senior High School in representing Iowa at the 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week, which will be held March 4–11, 2023. Selection of the two Iowa high school representatives was based on the outstanding ability and demonstrated leadership qualities of elected junior and senior high school officers.

IMG 9224In a surprise presentation, three consultants with the Iowa Department of Education — Stefanie Rosenberg Wager, Lora Rasey and Rosanne Malek — joined JHS Principal Ryan Woods and Superintendent Laura Kacer in presenting Bolar with the news Monday afternoon at Johnston High School.

U.S. Senate Youth Program

The United States Senate Youth Program, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers in public service. Delegates will take part in a comprehensive, interactive leadership program and each will receive the $10,000 college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate.

The mission of the intensive weeklong educational experience is to provide a yearly opportunity for selected students to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government overall as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The program provides a foundation of knowledge and encouragement for those considering a future of public IMG 9230service on the local, state or national level.

Two high school juniors or seniors are selected each year from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The 104 student delegates receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship to the college or university of their choice with encouragement to continue coursework in government and history. The Hearst Foundations have fully funded the program since its inception including transportation, accommodations, meals and individual college scholarships.

Washington Week

Student delegates will travel to Washington, D.C in March for Washington Week. During the week, student delegates meet and learn from the highest level elected and appointed officials in Washington. The delegates attend briefings and meetings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, cabinet members, federal agency leaders and senior members of the national media.

IMG 9219At least 17 military officers, representing each of the military services and the Coast Guard, serve as mentors for students during the week. The military mentors are competitively selected by Department of Defense staff, representing one of the longest standing partnerships between the Department of Defense and a national youth program.  This in-depth exposure to leadership at the highest levels is what fuels and sustains the delegates’ commitment to making a difference in their country, communities and schools.

The selection process for the United States Senate Youth Program began in early fall when teachers and principals nominated students. To qualify, students must hold or have held student body office or another elected or appointed position in their communities and show academic interest and aptitude in government, history and politics. The chief state school officer in each state makes the final selection of two delegates and two alternates by Dec. 1. The program is merit-based and highly competitive and the chosen delegates are consistently of the highest caliber in the nation.