WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) today announced that two students, Paige Morrison of Newark (Newark HS) and Mara Tazartus of Hockessin (Charter School of Wilmington), have been selected as delegates to the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program. The program will be held March 7-14 in Washington, D.C. Students were nominated by their teachers and principals and designated by Mark Murphy, Delaware’s Secretary of Education.
Chosen as alternates to the 2015 program were Andrew Morrison, a resident of Smyrna, who attends Smyrna High School and Charles Meggison IV, a resident of Millsboro, who attends Sussex Central High School.
This competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The mission of the program is to help instill more profound 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 $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.
“Congratulations to Paige and Mara, two bright, talented students from Delaware, on being selected for the Senate Youth Program,” Senator Carper said. “This program selects top students from each state to convene in Washington where they will learn more about the American political process and bring those experiences and knowledge back to Delaware. This is a wonderful opportunity that they will certainly never forget.”
“For more than 50 years, the Senate Youth Program has played an important role in developing tomorrow’s leaders through education and immersion in our democratic process,” Senator Coons said. “The desire and commitment to academic excellence Mara and Paige have shown will serve them well throughout their life. I congratulate them on this appointment and I know they will make Delaware proud during Washington Week.”
“Not only have these students excelled academically, they have demonstrated strong commitments to volunteering and public service,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “With the knowledge they gain and the skills they build through this program, I trust they will continue to lead in their schools and communities.”
Morrison serves as the chief justice for Delaware’s Youth in Government and is involved in the YMCA Model United Nations where she serves as a Youth Secretariat. She currently serves on the Senior Class Council and is the director of “Newark Live,” the school’s daily newscast. She has been twice named a DIAA scholar athlete. She has attended both Delaware Girls State and the Governors School for Excellence.
Tazartus serves as the captain of the nationally ranked Mock Trial team. She also serves as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation and Senate Majority Leader for the American Legion Auxiliary Delaware Girls State. She is a Junior Board member for Hearts of the Sacred Spirit, a non-profit charity that provides support to individuals living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and will attend Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business as a business administration major.
The mission of the United States Senate Youth Program is to provide a yearly opportunity for selected students to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government overall as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The program provides a foundation of knowledge and encouragement for those considering a future of public service on the local, state or national level.