The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Lara Mohamed and Ms. Saehee Christina Perez will join Senator Mark R. Warner and Senator Tim Kaine in representing Virginia during the 61st annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 4 — 11, 2023.
Lara Mohamed of Arlington and Saehee Perez of McLean were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. Each delegate will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study. Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program provides the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – with 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. All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.
During the program week, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, and leaders of cabinet agencies, among others. Lara Mohamed, a senior at Washington-Liberty High School, serves as a Student Council representative. She is a Horatio Alger Association National Scholar and serves on her school’s Principal Advisory Board. Outside of school, she chairs the Arlington Youth Philanthropy Initiative and is a member of the Girl Scout Nation’s Capital Girl Advisory Board. Creating a positive global impact and serving marginalized groups are her passions. After studying abroad in Jordan during the summer of 2022, she has been inspired to pursue international relations and global politics. From this program, Lara hopes to network with other students, enhance her knowledge of the political systems and to talk with prominent leaders to expand her understanding and world view. She hopes to pursue a law degree after college and later serve as a diplomat in the Foreign Service. In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors.
Now more than 6,000 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, the first alumnus to be appointed as a cabinet secretary; former Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.