March-April Posts

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From High School to the United States Senate

Published: March 6, 2014

This weekend, two Minnesota students will get a taste of what it’s like to hold one of the highest elected offices in the country: that of a US Senator. High School Seniors Tim Bergeland and Priyanka Narayan will fly out Washington DC this weekend to participate in the 2014 United States Senate Youth Program.

Established in 1962, the United States Senate Youth Program offers high school students from across the nation with a unique look into careers in public service. Each year, two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity are sent to Washington DC to experience national government in action. They hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, and have the opportunity to participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Each delegate also receives a $5,000 College Scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. The program is made possible with support by the Hearst Foundations.

The 2014 United States Senate Youth Program delegates from Minnesota: Tim Bergeland and Priyanka Narayan.

Tim Bergeland, left, and Priyanka Narayan, right.

Tim Bergeland is a senior at Hopkins High School who has a strong passion for politics. He has been involved in student government since seventh grade and served as a student representative to the Hopkins School Board for the past three years. Tim was elected president of the National Honor Society and captain of the varsity soccer team and is a co-creator and leader of "Project Focus," a student club dedicated to fighting against socioeconomic injustice in Minnesota. He plans to go on to study political science, focusing on international relations or international development. Tim is humbled to be selected as one of Minnesota’s delegates for the United States Senate Youth Program and is looking forward to learning more about the inner workings of our federal government in March.

Priyanka Narayan is a senior at Wayzata High School who has been on the board of directors for the Indian Association of Minnesota since her sophomore year. She has been captain of the policy debate team at Wayzata for the past two years, helping her team earn its national ranking. She is also heavily involved with science research and is a nationally renowned classical and contemporary Indian dancer. Last year she was an International Intel Science and Engineering Fair finalist.

For more information, check out the United States Senate Youth Program website.