Two Iowa students have been selected as delegates to the 62nd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) which will be held March 2-9 in Washington, D.C.

Anika Yadav, a senior at Waukee High School in Waukee, and Reem Kirja, a junior at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, were selected as Iowa’s delegates to the 104-member delegation who will participate in the government and leadership education program during Washington Week. Delegates also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

The first alternate is Amerie Alvarado, a senior at West Liberty High School, and the second alternate is Emillia Broich, a senior at Roland Story High School.

Delegates and alternates chosen for this merit-based, highly competitive program were selected by a committee at the Iowa Department of Education.

The program is a national, nonpartisan initiative designed to provide talented high school students who have outstanding leadership abilities the opportunity to deepen their understanding of America’s political process and also provide a foundation of knowledge and encouragement to consider future careers in public service on the local, state or national level.

Established in 1962 and fully funded by the Hearst Foundations, the mission of the USSYP is to provide selected students with an opportunity to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and federal government as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial
and executive branches. The annual program admits two student leader delegates from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

During Washington Week, delegates will attend briefings and meetings with senators, a Supreme Court justice, the president of the United States, Cabinet secretaries, an ambassador to the United States and other federal agency leaders and senior members of the national media. Events include substantial question-and-answer sessions affording students direct and personal interaction with high-level leadership. Students also tour national monuments, memorials and historic sites.

Meet Anika Yadav

Anika Yadav

Anika Yadav is involved in numerous school and community activities. This includes Iowa Girls State and Girls Nation, Iowa Youth Congress, State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council, Central Iowa uVoice Youth Philanthropy Board Member and National North Central Region Vice President at Future Business Leaders of America. She is also involved in volunteering with Everybody Wins! Iowa, FIRST Lego League Youth Mentor, and the Indo-American Association of Iowa. She was also awarded the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award, is a Global Borlaug Scholar, and received a National Who's Who Award at Future Business Leaders of America.

Meet Reem Kirja

Reem Kirja

Reem Kirja is involved in numerous school and community activities including serving on the Executive Board of Model United Nations, serving as a head attorney for mock trial, an editor for her school newspaper, and founder of West Student Fund, a program to raise funds for students who can't afford to participate in extracurricular activities. She also started a petition to advocate for no school on important religious holidays and was able to get her school board to honor the petition. She was recognized with the Top 10 Under 25 Changemaker of the Year award.

Anika Yadav
Reem Kirja