Two Arizona students selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Two Arizona students selected for United States Senate Youth Program
The U.S. Capitol Building. (Source: NBC)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Two students from Arizona will get a chance to study under Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, the United States Senate Youth Program announced the two will represent Arizona during the 59th annual USSYP Washington Week.

According to a news release, Nathaniel Cross of Tucson and Eman Massoud of Gilbert were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The event will be held from March 14-17, however, due to the pandemic, the program will break ground as the first-ever fully virtual Washington Week. It is designed to be a highly interactive and exciting education and leadership forum for the nation’s most outstanding student leaders.

The USSYP was created in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since its inception. The program works to help student delegates become more profound in the knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.

Nathaniel Cross, a junior at Catalina Foothills High School, serves as the secretary of the Pima County Teen Court Bar Association. Born in the United Kingdom, he brings a unique perspective to his academics and activism with Pima County Teen Court. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, he successfully advocated for the continuation of this program because of the support it provides young people and the proven effect on lowering recidivism. Beyond his activism with Teen Court, Nathaniel remains connected to his community through his club cycling team, El Grupo, a competitive and youth empowerment organization where he serves as the youth representative on the Governing Board of Directors.

Eman Massoud, a senior at Gilbert Classical Academy, serves as a student advisor to the African American Advisory Council at the Arizona Department of Education, a representative for March for Our Lives, and a representative of the Student Legion. She is a member of the Ambassador Club and is active with the Youth Leadership Development Program with Mi Familia Vota. Eman is motivated by the power of equitable representation and has delivered tangible changes in her community by encouraging her school leadership to hire more teachers of color, which led to two new educators of color joining her school by her senior year.

Iselle Barrios, a resident of Tucson, who attends University High School and Ross Nemeth, a resident of Scottsdale, who attends Horizon High School were chosen as alternates to the 2021 program.

For more information about the United States Senate Youth Program, visit their website.

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