WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) today announced that two Georgia high school students have been selected as delegates to the 55th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) that will be held March 1 through 11, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
Jacob Timothy Cone, of Thomasville, and Alvin M. Winston, II, of Atlanta, were chosen in a very competitive selection process to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s “Washington Week.”
While in Washington, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, U.S. House 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. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums.
“I congratulate Jacob Cone and Alvin Winston on this great accomplishment,” Isakson said. “Each has an impressive record of commitment to service and to their studies, and I applaud them. These students will learn a great deal during their visit to Washington.”
“Students selected to join the United States Senate Youth Program are strong leaders in their communities and classrooms,” Perdue said. “Congratulations to Jacob Cone and Alvin Winston on receiving this honor, and to Julia Powell and Hannah Payne for being chosen as alternates. I look forward to hearing about these young leaders’ bright futures.”
Jacob Cone attends Thomasville High Scholars Academy in Thomasville and serves as the school council president. Jacob has attended the state of Georgia’s Center for Civic Engagement’s Youth Assembly Conference each of his years in high school, and is a member of Georgia’s Superintendent Student Advisory Council. He is an Eagle Scout and has been the huddle leader of his high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 2013. Jacob plans to pursue an undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. He hopes to attend law school and pursue his interest in lobbying for veterans’ affairs and agriculture and eventually to represent south Georgia in the political arena.
Alvin Winston attends Charles R. Drew Charter School in Atlanta and serves as vice president of the student body. As a member of his charter school’s first graduating class, Alvin served as student body president as a sophomore and junior, and he was the freshman class president. He was appointed as chairman for 21st Century Leader’s Youth Ambassadors, and has attended the Governor’s Honors Program as a social studies major, studied Constitutional law at the Duke University Talent Identification Program, and Global Health through Harvard’s pre-college program. Alvin plans to dual major in political science and African-American Studies and minor in Spanish. In law school, Alvin would like to specialize in immigration law and eventually hopes to become a Supreme Court justice.
Chosen as alternates to the 2017 program were Julia Powell of Augusta, who attends Liberty Independent Private School, and Hannah Payne of Rome, who attends Unity Christian School.
The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s Georgia delegates were designated by Richard Woods, Georgia’s state superintendent of schools.
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 and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more in-depth 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 other expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; no government funds are utilized.
The USSYP was created in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates generally rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors.