Montana Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program -

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Montana Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Montana Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Friday, January 10, 2020/Categories: Office of Public Instruction/Tags: Elsie Arntzen , Dylan Klapmeier , Montana Office of Public Instruction , Montana OPI , USSYP , united states senate youth program , Sofie Kruse , Hayden Massar , Bozeman High School , North Star High School

Contact: Questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or state selection process: Dylan Klapmeier at or (406) 444-3559.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program: Program Director Ms. Rayne Guilford (800) 425-3632 or

Montana Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

January 9, 2020, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Sofie Elaine Kruse and Mr. Hayden William Massar will join Senator Jon Tester and Senator Steve Daines in representing Montana in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. Sofie Kruse of Bozeman and Hayden Massar of Rudyard were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

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."

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. 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 all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Sofie Kruse, a senior at Bozeman High School, serves as the secretary of the Key Club. She volunteers at her local hospital in various departments, including Cardiac Rehabilitation, Labor and Delivery, and the Pharmacy. She also gives her time at a senior care facility, all of which has left her with a desire to pursue a nursing career. Additionally, Sofie has worked as a background checker at the courthouse and works in childcare, all while taking AP classes at school, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and serving as an officer in Future Health Professionals of America and National Honor Society.

Hayden Massar, a senior at North Star High School, serves as the vice president of the Senior Class. In addition to keeping his 4.0 GPA and being a member of the National Honor Society, he plays basketball and runs track. He competes in speech and drama, and leads his school’s Youth Alive group. Hayden is active in the Business Professionals of America and was chapter president last year. He volunteers in the community by participating in musical performances, and by volunteering at basketball camps and at the Special Olympics. Hayden plans to attend Montana State University to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

Chosen as alternates to the 2020 program were Ms. McKenna Quirk, a resident of Missoula, who attends Hellgate High School and Ms. Keely Drummond, a resident of Belt, who attends Belt High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Montana delegates and alternates were designated by Elsie Arntzen, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

While in Washington the student delegates 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.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,700 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana currently a candidate for president of the United States. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.

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