Students will visit Washington, D.C. and receive $5,000 scholarship

Wahsington Capital_Jan 2016U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-GA, and David Perdue, R-GA, announced the selection of two Georgia students to serve as delegates to the 54th annual United States Senate Youth Program that will be held March 5-12, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Justin Deal of Dalton, GA, and Meredith McCain of Johns Creek, GA, met the rigorous requirements of the program and were chosen to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the program’s 54th annual Washington Week.

While in Washington, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with the president, U.S. senators, U.S. House representatives, congressional staff, 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.

“Justin Deal and Meredith McCain set a positive example for their peers and have earned this achievement through their dedication to servant leadership in their schools and communities,” said Isakson. “I look forward to welcoming them to Washington this March.”

“Justin Deal and Meredith McCain have demonstrated they are worthy of this distinction and prepared to represent our great state as student delegates,” said Perdue. “I look forward to meeting with these young leaders and discussing the importance of public service.”

Justin Deal is a senior at Northwest Whitfield High School in Dalton, GA and serves as the senior class president. He was also class president during his sophomore and junior years. Deal serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and attended the Governor’s Honors Program as a social studies major and mathematics minor. He volunteers at the Humane Society of Northwest Georgia and the Whitfield Murray Historical Society. Deal plans to study constitutional law in the hopes of one day becoming a Supreme Court justice.

Meredith McCain is a senior at Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, GA and serves as a student council representative. She has previously served as student body treasurer, and is currently president of the French National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society. McCain is editor-in-chief of her school’s literary magazine, The Pulse, and is a member of the northeast Atlanta chapter of the National Charity League as well as Student Leadership Johns Creek. She plans to major in international affairs or political science and French. McCain’s aspirations are to obtain an ambassadorial position to a French-speaking country, and then run for political office.

Chosen as alternates to the 2016 program were Lorna Chitty, a resident of Valdosta, GA, who attends Valdosta High School, and Sarah Malik, a resident of Martinez, Georgia, who attends Augusta Preparatory Day School in Augusta, GA.

The chief educational officer in each state selects the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. This year’s Georgia delegates were designated by Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods.


Each year, this extremely competitive merit-based U.S. Senate Youth 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 student delegates 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. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations. No taxpayer dollars go to this program.

The U.S. Senate Youth Program was created by S.Res.324 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.

The co-chairs of the U.S. Senate Youth Program 2016, 54th annual Senate Advisory Committee are Senator Cory Gardner, R-CO, Republican Co-Chair; Senator Mazie K. Hirono, D-HI, Democratic Co-Chair. The Senate advisory members are: Senators Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.VA; Mike Enzi, R-WY; David Perdue, R-GA; Tim Scott, R-SC; Tammy Baldwin, D-WI; Cory Booker, D-NJ; Robert P. Casey, D-PA; and Patrick Leahy, D-VT. Each year, the honorary co-chairs of the program are the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders.