Ladue Resident Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Jan 10, 2020

Mr. Giuseppe Di Cera will join Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Josh Hawley in representing Missouri in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. 




Contact: Questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or state selection process: Mrs. Dixie J. Grupe at or (573) 751-0398.


For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program:

Program Director Ms. Rayne Guilford at or (800) 425-3632.


Missouri Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 College Scholarship


January 9, 2020, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Mr. Giuseppe Di Cera and Mr. Bao Gia Vo Nguyen will join Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Josh Hawley in representing Missouri in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. Giuseppe Di Cera of St. Louis and Bao Nguyen also of St. Louis were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.


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. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, 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. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.


Giuseppe Di Cera, a senior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, serves as the vice president of the National Honor Society. He also serves on his school's Student Leadership Panel, whose members are selected based on demonstrated school and community service, and their understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the greater community, Giuseppe lives those values as chairman on Mayor Nancy Spewak's Youth Advisory Council and as project director of the Harris Institute High School International Justice Initiative at Washington University School of Law. Furthermore, Giuseppe advocates for children’s rights around the world as president of his school’s UNICEF club.


Bao Vo Nguyen, a senior at Bayless High School, serves as the president of the Student Body. He is a leader in an eclectic combination of school and community organizations, a member of the Marching band and the Color Guard, as well as the National Honor Society. Bao is the Missouri DECA’s District 9 vice president, an organization for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders, and has represented Missouri as a leadership delegate at the International Career Development Conference. He volunteers at the St. Louis County library where he received the Sidney Johnson Award for his founding of the Teen Advisory Group, dedicated to creating library programs and resources promoting teenage interests and events.




Chosen as alternates to the 2020 program were Ms. Katherine Rae Wood, a resident of Kansas City who attends Park Hill High School and Mr. Matthew Ryne Trout, a resident of Blue Springs who attends Blue Springs South High School.


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 Missouri delegates and alternates were designated by Margaret M. Vandeven, Commissioner of Education.


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.


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 5,700 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry,

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana currently a candidate for president of the United States. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.



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