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Two Mississippi Students Head to D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss) today announced that Joseph Hasbrouck of Pascagoula and Jackson Wilkins of Hattiesburg have been selected to represent Mississippi at the 54th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).

Cochran and Wicker, consistent supporters of the USSYP, will meet Hasbrouck and Wilkins, who will participate in the 2016 USSYP Washington Week, March 5-12 in Washington.  As delegates, the Mississippi students will each be awarded a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship from the Hearst Foundation, which funds the entire program.

“The U.S. Senate Youth Program provides an excellent opportunity for student leaders to join their peers from across the country to learn more about public service and our government,” Cochran said.  “I congratulate Joseph and Jackson for their community service and their selection to this scholarship program, and look forward to meeting them as they represent Mississippi.”

“I look forward to welcoming Joseph and Jackson to Washington,” Wicker said.  “The Senate Youth Program is an outstanding way for Mississippi youth to understand the importance of public service. This week-long visit to the nation’s capital will strengthen their leadership abilities and political knowledge. I am confident that these exceptional students will represent Mississippi well.”

In all, 104 student delegates from across the country will take part in the USSYP Washington Week, which is an educational program that includes meetings and briefings with Senators, congressional staff, the President, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and officials from cabinet agencies, the diplomatic corps and the media.

Hasbrouck, a senior at Pascagoula High School, is student council secretary, class treasurer, National Honor Society president, a Speech and Debate Club member and sings in the choir.  Hasbrouck volunteers time to help manage blood drives and serve meals at the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen.

Wilkins, a senior at Sacred Heart Catholic School, is student body president and co-president of the school’s Environmental Club.  In addition to participating in mock trial, soccer, tennis and math competition teams, Wilkins is also editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, which he founded.  At the Mississippi Boys State, he was elected secretary of state and named “Boys Stater of the Year.”

Mississippi’s alternate delegates to the 2016 program are Belmont High School student Canaan Harris of Golden, and William Hay of West Point, who attends Heritage Academy.

The Mississippi delegates and alternates were designated by Dr. Carey Wright, Mississippi Superintendent of Education, from among students nominated by teachers and principals.

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 its inception.  No government funds are used.  Two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity take part in the annual program.

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