Country Day is pleased to announce that William Harris '20 will represent the State of North Carolina in the nation's capital during the 58th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week. While there, William will attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of 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. William is one of only two students selected from among the state's top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. He will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

William Foster, Class of 2020

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings 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 profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.

youth senate program

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 inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, 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."


William and Foster Harris '20 pictured meeting with a USCIS Official as a part of their work on Naturalize Charlotte.

William, a senior at Country Day, serves as the chair of the Honor Council and has also served on Student Senate. He is a former president of his school's Model United Nations club and the co-founder of Naturalize Charlotte, an effort to increase naturalizations among residents eligible for United States citizenship. He feels the Senate Youth Program experience will support his desire to impact others through community leadership and public service.