Two Kanawha County students have been selected by the West Virginia Department of Education to represent the Mountain State in Washington D.C.
George Washington High School’s Adam Pack and Azeem Khan are this year’s West Virginia U.S. Senate Youth delegates.
The United States Youth Program (USSYP) is an extremely competitive, merit-based program that brings two of the most outstanding high school students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to Washinton D.C. for a week-long experience that educates youth to our American political process.
Junior, Azeem Khan said, “I think the opportunity to come together with 103 other leaders from their states is a really cool thing to do and I can’t think of another place we’d have an opportunity to do something like that, so that’s something Adam and I, both are looking forward to doing and being able to talk to them about different things we do in our communities.”
All 104 students will get the opportunity to meet our nation’s leaders, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts.
Senior, Adam Pack said, “what I’m hoping to get out of this experience is to just see our government in action. I’ve taken a lot of history courses, government courses at my school and I’ve read all about it, but I haven’t actually experienced it.”
Both Pack and Khan said the selection process was long and competitive. It first began with a written application, a test on current events and government and history, then an in-person interview and finally a five-minute speech on the student’s passion.
Pack and Khan said they both feel very humble to be selected and did not see this coming.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I’m just so excited to be able to go to this program and just take advantage of it,” said Pack.
Pack and Khan were selected out of six finalists. Superintendent of Schools, Steven Paine made the final selections, also naming Huntington High’s Anastasia Jones-Burdick and Ravenswood High’s Molly Pennington as alternates.
Pack and Khan will be joining Senator Joe Manchin and Shelley Capito on this week-long journey. They leave Saturday morning, March 2, 2019 and return March 9.
They will also receive each a $10,000 scholarship for undergraduate study. Pack plans to attend George Washington University and study foreign policy. Khan hopes to attend law school and then potentially run for political office in the future.