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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: DECEMBER 19, 2008


Zachary Cady, a junior at Brevard High School (Transylvania County), and Warche Downing, a senior at Plymouth High School (Washington County), were selected from a competitive group of North Carolina high school students to be the two student delegates to represent North Carolina in the 47th annual United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C., during the week of March 7-14.

Established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution 324, the U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP) provides an intensive educational program bringing together officials, government leaders and a selective group of students from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education.

To apply for the Senate Youth Program, a student must be a junior or senior in high school currently serving in an elected or appointed capacity in student government or a related organization. The Hearst Foundation which overseas this program encourages states to interview and select students who demonstrate leadership; high scholarship standing and other demonstrated abilities such as clear speech and logical thought, community involvement and participation in a wide selection of activities on and off campus. Most importantly, the Foundation asks that student selections be based on the students' outstanding abilities and demonstrated qualities of leadership in an elected or appointed high school student office for the 2008-09 school year.

Cady is the founder and current chairman of the Young Teenage Republicans at his high school. He worked in the local campaign office in Brevard, NC as a McCain intern in 2008. He is a junior and has served as class president at Brevard High School for the past two years. Cady also serves as president of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and parliamentarian of the National Honor Society.

Downing has served in Plymouth High School's student government association since his freshman year. He is currently serving his second year as his high school's student body president. Downing also is Plymouth's National Honor Society president, Heath Occupations Students of American vice president, and the NC-HOSA Northeast Region vice president. He is a registered volunteer at University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina at Chowan Hospital in Edenton. Downing served as a student election assistant in the Obama Campaign for Change and organized school voter registration drives during the 2008 election campaign. Downing will represent North Carolina in the Hamilton Leadership Academy in Seattle, Wa., during the summer of 2009.

In addition to their outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, Cady and Downing each rank academically near the top of their class. As a part of the Senate Youth Program, each student will receive a one-time $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.

The USSY Program is fully funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation as a part of its commitment to preparing young students for citizenship and leadership in our nation's participatory democracy. The program pays all expenses for the Washington Week, including transportation, hotel accommodations and meals.

For more information, please contact the NC Department of Public Instruction's Communication office, 919.807.3450.


About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.