CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 5

January 18, 2011

Missouri Students Selected for Senate Youth Program

Two Missouri high school students have been selected to represent their state at the 49th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program this spring in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt have announced that Michael Hoosier of Warrenton High School and Patricia Okonta of Liberty High School have been selected as delegates this year.

Two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity are chosen each year for an intensive, weeklong study of the federal government.  The competitive, merit-based program is sponsored by the U.S. Senate and funded by the Hearst Foundations.

While in the nation’s capital, student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators and congressional staff, the president, a U.S. Supreme Court justice, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States, and top members of the national media.  The students also will tour many national monuments and museums.  In addition, each of the 104 delegates will receive a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship from the Hearst Foundations.

Michael Hoosier is president of the National Honor Society chapter at his school.  He also serves as president of the Future Business Leaders of America and Rotary Interact and as vice president of the Key Club.  In addition to numerous community service activities, Hoosier has participated in the Missouri Scholars Academy, Missouri Boys State and Boys Nation.  Ultimately, he aspires to be a state and national legislator after earning a law degree.

Patricia Okonta is president of the student council at Liberty High School.  Okonta also serves as vice president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter.  She is a member of the Key Club and the African-American Association, and she serves as a section editor for the school newspaper.  She has participated in Missouri Girls State and has worked in many community service activities.  She aspires to become an attorney.

Alternate delegates selected were Zachari Sweets, a student at Belton High School, and Darius Grayer, a student at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City.