IRMO – Irmo High School International School for the Arts junior, Alex Blocker, has been named the 2021 United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship (USSYP) winner by the South Carolina Department of Education.
He is one of two delegates selected to represent South Carolina. Hamilton Sprawls from South Florence High School was also selected to represent the state.
“When I found out I was selected for the U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship I screamed because the feeling was amazing,” Blocker said. “I would like to say thank you to the counselors, teachers, friends, and family members who helped me along the way. I am mostly looking forward to meeting elected officials and learning more about the political process. I am extremely thankful for the $10,000 scholarship as well.”
Each year, this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of 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. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in meetings with the president and a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to the student delegates attending Washington Week, the Hearst Foundation will provide each of the 104 student delegates with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue their educational coursework in government, history and public affairs.
This year due to the pandemic, the entire program is being held online. The Washington Week online dates are Sunday, March 14 through Thursday, March 18, 2021.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the U.S. Senate and fully funded by the Hearst Foundation since its inception. The program was established to “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America, but for people around the world.”
“I am so excited for and proud of Alex Blocker,” said Irmo High School Principal Dr. Robin Hardy. “Alex perfectly represents the high expectations and accomplishments of Irmo High School and is an inspiration to others. Remember his name. The best is yet to come.”