Montana's U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus today announced that Sharidan Russell of Polson High School was chosen as a delegate to the 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program.
Russell, along with Rachel Skaar of Helena, was selected from students across the state to be part of the group of 104 student delegates to attend the annual Washington Week in March and receive a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship from the Hearst Foundations to continue studying government, history and public affairs.
"Montana's future is in good hands with young leaders like Sharidan," said Tester, the co-chair for the Senate Youth Program. "Her dedication to service and hard work speaks to the best of the Treasure State. I know Sharidan will bring strong Montana values to Washington, and I look forward to hearing about her success in the weeks and years to come."
"Sharidan is an exemplary student and I'm proud to have her representing the Big Sky State. Her commitment to serving others is an inspiration to us all and I'm certain her Montana work ethic will impress those who get to know her through the Senate Youth Program," Baucus said.
Russell attends Polson High School and serves on Superintendent Denise Juneau's Graduation Matters Advisory Board. She is involved in several community service projects and is a leader in her church's youth group. A National Honor Society member, she enjoys debate, public speaking, working on the school newspaper, sports, writing, and memorizing poems. She intends to study Arabic and government with a goal of teaching in the Middle East. She also plans to pursue political journalism to become a press secretary, or perhaps run for public office.
While in Washington D.C., Russell and Skaar will attend meetings and briefings with Senators and Congressional staff, President Obama, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, and members of the national media.
Russell and Skaar were nominated by their teachers and principals and selected from students across the state by Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. Baucus and Tester also congratulated 2014 alternates Anna Middleton, a resident of Big Sky, who attends Lone Peak High School and Aidan Wade, a resident of Helena, who attends Capital High School.
The Senate Youth Program was created in 1962, after being proposed by Montana Senator Mike Mansfield. The program is sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations.