Department of Defense Education Activity

DoDEA Students Selected For U.S. Senate Youth Program

ALEXANDRIA, VA — January 19, 2023 — The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) has announced that high school students Ms. Olivia Kearley and Mr. Kyung Joon Flanery will represent the Department of Defense Education Activity during the 61st annual USSYP Washington Week.

Olivia Kearley of Lakenheath High School in England, and Kyung Joon Flanery of Humphreys High School in South Korea, were selected from among DoDEA’s top student leaders to be part of the 105 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

Olivia KearleyOlivia Kearley, a junior at Lakenheath High School, England, serves as the Student Body Representative for the Student Council, and Treasurer of the National Honor Society. She is also a DoDEA All-Europe athlete, and volunteers as a camp counselor. Ms. Kearley believes the US Senate Youth Program will give her a clear vision of how to connect her interests to public service and she is honored to represent DoDEA at the 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week in March of 2023.

Kyung Joon FlaneryKyung Joon Flanery is the student body president for Humphreys High School, located in South Korea. He volunteers at his local elementary school, church, and TaeKwonDo as an instructor throughout the year. Kyung Joon believes that the United States Senate Youth Program will allow him to continue his growth as a leader and citizen.

The United States Senate Youth Program was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the Senate leadership of the day, the impetus for the program 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 - 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. 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. All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are used.

For more information on the United States Senate Youth Program: https://ussenateyouth.org/

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. Now more than 5,800 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward 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. This year’s DoDEA delegates and alternates were designated by Mr. Thomas M. Brady, DoDEA Director. During the program week, the student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies and senior members of the national media, among others. Each year, the Honorary Co-Chairs of the program are the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders.