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Capital distinction: Two New Mexico students picked for Senate Youth Program

Students from a previous year's class of the U.S. Senate Youth Program stand together on the steps of the Capitol. Two students from each state are selected annually for the honor. (Courtesy of The U.S. Senate Youth Program

Students from a previous year’s class of the U.S. Senate Youth Program stand together on the steps of the Capitol. Two students from each state are selected annually for the honor. (Courtesy of The U.S. Senate Youth Program

Students Cambria Isabelle Barnes and Andrew Joseph Schumann have been chosen to join Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich representing New Mexico in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program Washington Week March 7-14.

bright spot

Cambria Barnes and Schumann, both of Rio Rancho, 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, organizers said in a news release.

Cambria Isabelle Barnes

Cambria Isabelle Barnes

Cambria Barnes, a senior at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School in Albuquerque, is founder and president of her school’s Model UN club and serves as the president of the National Honor Society. She is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate who also was a member of her school’s state champion and national qualifying “We the People” team.

She participates in speech and debate where she has held offices and won multiple awards. She enjoys volunteering in her community and learning new languages, organizers said.

Andrew Joseph Schumann

Andrew Joseph Schumann

Schumann, a senior at College and Career High School in Albuquerque, serves as president of the student body there. He drafted his school’s Student Senate Constitution, and as president of the National Honor Society Luna Chapter, also began a school-wide tutoring program.

He already has earned 75 college credits while maintaining a 4.0 college GPA at CNM and is on track to graduate high school with associate degrees in political science, history, and pre-law. He has been on the CNM Dean’s List for five consecutive semesters, and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

The Senate Youth Program was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception.

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.”

The annual competitive merit-based program brings outstanding high school students to Washington, D.C., for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it, according to the release. One overall objective is to instill a more profound knowledge of the American political process and encourage a commitment to public service.

The Hearst Foundations provides the $10,000 scholarships to the students with encouragement to continue work in government, history and public affairs.

The foundations also provide transportation and all expenses for Washington Week. No government funds are utilized, organizers said.

Alternates chosen for the 2020 program were Shena Leng Han, who attends Los Alamos High School, and Caleb Bryce Jorgensen, who attends OƱate High School in Las Cruces.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.

For more information, visit www.ussenateyouth.org.

 

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