Two Mississippi high school students have been selected to join Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith in representing the state at the 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week.
The students, Northwest Rankin High School seniors Joshua Emerson Bowman and Nadia Esmee Harden, were selected from the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. Each delegate will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.
During the program week in March, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, and leaders of cabinet agencies, among others.
In addition, 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 utilized.
Bowman currently serves as the Mu Alpha Theta (Mathematics High School Honor Society) president. Additionally, he serves as the chapter president of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, the Student Government executive secretary, the National Honor Society vice president, and the Beta Club secretary. Bowman is a National Merit Semifinalist and leads the robotics team as team captain.
He is also an avid trombonist, serving as section leader in his school’s Cougar Bands and a member of the Mississippi All-State Band on tenor trombone. Each year, Bowman arranges his school’s involvement in the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, recycling program, and canned food drive, and organizes STEM exposure events for elementary students in his school zone. He plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering, ultimately working in infrastructure or climate policy.
At this time, Harden serves as the National French Honor Society president. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and serves as the Model United Nations president. Outside of school, Harden is involved with her church and its service ministries, serving as the leader of the audio-visual team and as one of the overall youth leaders. She helps plan events in different programs and volunteers in her church’s monthly food program which serves 600 families.
This past summer, Harden participated in a six-week State Department program to study the Korean language in Seoul, through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship. Harden plans to pursue a career in the State Department as a diplomat and study international relations in college with a minor in foreign language and then earn a master’s degree in international development.
Chosen as alternates to the 2023 program were Ian Noah Underwood of Jackson who attends Jackson Preparatory School and Madelyn Sloan Berry of Brandon, who attends Northwest Rankin High School.
Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.