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Southaven native participates in U.S. Senate Youth Program

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science senior, Iris Xue of Southaven, has been selected  to attend the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Two outstanding high  school students from each state are chosen to attend this immersive leadership program  with the nation’s top government officials. Xue will be awarded a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship and attend the 62nd annual Washington Week in March of 2024. 

“I am incredibly honored and excited to have been selected to represent Mississippi as a  delegate to this year’s United States Senate Youth Program,” Xue said. “This distinction  not only recognizes my commitment to leadership and community involvement  throughout high school, but it also, more importantly, offers a unique opportunity to  voice our state’s diverse perspectives at Washington Week, engage in critical discussions  with delegates and high-level government officials from across our nation, deepen my  understanding of public policy and passion for public service, and bring back valuable  insights to benefit our state.” 

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. This highly  competitive program allows for both juniors and seniors to apply. The two selected  student delegates from each state generally rank academically in the top one percent of  their state.

Iris Xue (Courtesy photo)

“I’ve always been interested in public policy, government, and economics, with a  particular focus on exploring these fields’ intersections,” Xue said. “I believe representing Mississippi through this program will not only deepen my understanding of these subjects but also further my aspirations of giving back to the generous communities I have had the honor of being a part of.” 

The 104 student delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet  members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense, leaders of other federal  agencies and senior members of the national media. The annual Washington Week  additionally allows them to participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme  Court and the President of the United States. Each event will involve an interactive in depth question and answer session. 

“Attending the Annual Senate Reception sounds especially thrilling, as it gives me the opportunity to personally speak with all our U.S. senators,” Xue said. “I look forward to spending additional time with Mississippi’s senators, Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde Smith, to gain invaluable insights from their experiences serving in public office and representing our state’s hard-working people at the national level.” 

To learn more about the United States Senate Youth Program, please visit

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