WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today announced the two West Virginia high school students who will serve as delegates to the 56th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) in Washington, D.C. Jerry Lacy of Charleston and Ely Osborne of Clay were selected as two of more than 100 student delegates to attend the program’s Washington Week, taking place March 3 - 10.
“Jerry and Ely have worked extremely hard and demonstrated tremendous leadership to earn this honor,” Senator Capito said. “Outstanding students like Jerry and Ely help inspire the next generation of West Virginia leaders. I am excited for the opportunity that lies ahead of these young men—an opportunity that will allow them to better understand the American political process and what it means to be a public servant. I couldn’t be more proud to have Jerry and Ely representing West Virginia as USSYP delegates.”
“I’m incredibly proud of Jerry Lacy and Ely Osborne for being selected as West Virginia delegates in the U.S. Senate Youth Program this year,” Senator Manchin said. “The Senate Youth Program is a remarkable opportunity for some of our brightest students to learn firsthand about the role of our federal government and the importance of public service. Both Jerry and Ely embody the best of West Virginia and have shown exceptional leadership skills and a passion for service. I look forward to meeting them when they come to D.C. in March.”
During the 56th annual Washington Week, the students will meet with Senators Capito and Manchin. They will also attend meetings and briefings with the president, senators, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, congressional staff, a Supreme Court justice, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States, and senior members of the national media, as well as tour many of the national monuments and museums.
Each student will also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history, and public affairs. The intensive week-long educational experience and scholarship are fully funded by the Hearst Foundations.
Delegates and alternates are selected by 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. This year’s West Virginia delegates and alternates were designated by Dr. Steven L. Paine, State Superintendent of Schools.
Jerry Lacy attends George Washington High School and serves as the student body president. He formed the West Virginia Young Republicans club, arranging for 40 students from several high schools to spend a day at the West Virginia Capitol meeting with the secretary of state and attorney general. He also interned for Bill Cole during his campaign for governor. In addition, Jerry started an American Red Cross club at school to reinstate blood drives on campus. He is also the vice president of the Beta Club and plays baseball for both his school and a travel team.
Ely Osborne attends Clay County High School and serves as the senior class president. His outstanding academic record is complemented by his impressive leadership qualities and extracurricular successes. He is the president of the West Virginia delegation for the Technology Student Association, the state winner of the "Most Outstanding Performer" award for his participation in the We the People competition, captain of the baseball team, president of his church youth group, and a youth sports instructor and referee. Ely is also an advocate for the state's Promise Scholarship and an intern for the Family Policy Council of West Virginia.
Chosen as alternates to the 2018 program were Nikita Zinzuwadia, a resident of Beckley who attends Woodrow Wilson High School, and Emily Fisher, a resident of Morgantown who attends Morgantown High School.
# # #