News

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2012

Illinois Students Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Delegates to travel to D.C. and receive $5,000 scholarship

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education joins U.S. Senators Richard J. Durbin and Mark Kirk in congratulating the two Illinois high school students selected as delegates to the 50th Anniversary U.S. Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C. in March. Robert Chun of Oak Brook and Patrick McGlasson of Eldred were selected from applicants across the state to represent Illinois.

“We congratulate our two Illinois delegates, their teachers and their families,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch.  “These students and their peers across the country will enjoy a rich and unique opportunity to experience the democratic process up close as other student leaders have done for 50 years now.”

The U.S. Senate sponsors the USSYP, created in 1962, and The Hearst Foundations funds the program. The program aims to instill a more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.

Each year the competitive, merit-based program brings 104 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. The Hearst Foundations provide each of the 104 student delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship and encourages them to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.

While in Washington March 3-10, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators and Congressional staff, the President, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and members of the national media.

Robert Chun attends Hinsdale Central High School and serves as student representative for Republican State Representative Chris Nybo of Elmhurst. In addition, Robert writes a political column for the school newspaper, serves as president of Citizen Club and is running for precinct captain. He is involved in mock trial, Ladder-Up Financial Liberation and National Honor Society. Robert hopes to attend Georgetown University and to someday work in Washington, D.C.

Patrick McGlasson attends Carrollton High School and serves as Student Body president. Patrick has served as head page for the U.S. Senate and credits the experience with changing his outlook on life. He also served as a U.S. House page. He is a member of National Honor Society, and as a volunteer in the State's Attorney's Office. He is currently working on a Congressional campaign. Patrick hopes to attend the University of Illinois to study history and political science.

Emily Andre, a resident of Antioch, who attends Antioch Community High School and Tyler Hixson, a resident of Monticello, who attends Monticello High School, were chosen as alternates.

Chief education officers in each state select the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, this year’s students rank academically in the top 1 percent of their states.

Among the many distinguished former program delegates are U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate; U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado, the first former delegate elected to the House; New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt; and former presidential Advisers Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove.

###