BELLBROOK —Bellbrook High School senior Joey Derrico was chosen to represent Ohio during the United States Senate Youth Program in March.
He and Huron student Ronald Eytchison will join senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman during USSYP’s 56th annual Washington Week, March 3-10.
Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most 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 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.
Delegates and alternates 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. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.
“I am extremely excited to be spending a week in Washington with other politically minded students,” Derrico said. “I was definitely surprised about being selected to this program. I hope to gain some new insights and perspectives not only from the speakers but from the other students as well. I also hope to learn the true meaning of public service so that I can come back to the Dayton area and make a positive impact on the community.”
Derrico serves on the Ohio attorney general’s teen ambassador board and is a volunteer for the Greene County Democratic Party. He is also president of his school’s Key Club and the outreach director for Ohio High School Democrats. Currently, Derrico is working to get approval to lower the municipal voting age in his hometown to 16. In his spare time, Derrico enjoys golfing and volunteering for the local park district. He intends on majoring in political science with the goal of becoming a civil rights attorney.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. 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. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations.
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. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top 1 percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors.
Xenia Daily Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.