In January 2020, the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced that Missouri high school students Giuseppe Di Cera (12) of Ladue Horton Wakins High School (LHWHS) and Bao Gia Vo Nguyen (12) of Bayless High School will join Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Josh Hawley in representing Missouri in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. Giuseppe Di Cera and Bao Nguyen were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. Each student will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study provided by the Hearst Foundation.
The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates a more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. The goal as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize 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 the most outstanding high school students to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. 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. Delegates 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. 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. This year’s Missouri delegates and alternates were designated by Margaret M. Vandeven, Commissioner of Education.
Giuseppe Di Cera currently serves as the vice president of the National Honor Society. He also involved in his school’s Student Leadership Panel, whose members are selected based on demonstrated school and community service, and their understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the greater community, Giuseppe lives those values as chairman on Mayor Nancy Spewak’s Youth Advisory Council and as project director of the Harris Institute High School International Justice Initiative at Washington University School of Law. Furthermore, Giuseppe advocates for children’s rights around the world as president of his school’s UNICEF club.
Now more than 5,700 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; 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, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana currently a candidate for president of the United States.
For more information please visit: www.ussenateyouth.org
To learn more about the awesome work Giuseppe is doing, check out his feature in Town & Style St. Louis.