Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King congratulated Caroline Baldacci of Bangor and Virginia Jewel Hugo-Vidal of Gorham on being selected as Maine’s delegates to the 56th Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Caroline and Virginia will join 104 other students from across the country in spending a week in the nation’s capital where they will have an opportunity to study the American legislative system first-hand.
“Caroline and Virginia are exceptional students who will represent Maine well as delegates to the U.S. Senate Youth Program,” said Senator Collins. “I have the honor and privilege of being the first delegate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program to have been elected to the U.S. Senate. As a senior in high school, this incredible program strengthened my commitment to public service. I am pleased that Caroline and Virginia have been selected to participate in this exciting opportunity, and I look forward to meeting with them while they are in Washington, D.C.”
“The Senate Youth Program is a great way to recognize outstanding young people from Maine and all across the country, and I’m delighted to congratulate Caroline and Virginia on this impressive accomplishment” said Senator King, a co-chair of the USSYP Senate Advisory Committee. “They have demonstrated remarkable leadership and dedication to their communities and the State of Maine, and I look forward to congratulating them in person when they visit Washington.”
Caroline Baldacci attends Bangor High School where she serves as the president of the National Honor Society, captain of the Congressional Debate Team, and a member of both the Student and Class Councils. She is also a two-time qualifier for the National Congressional Debate competition. Additionally, Caroline has volunteered for many political campaigns. She hopes to earn a degree in history or political science and pursue a career in public service.
Virginia Hugo-Vidal attends Gorham High School and serves in an appointed position to the Superintendent's Policy Focus Group. She is also an officer for her Thespian Society, Ambassadors Club, and Debate Club and participates in Model United Nations, serving as the head delegate for her school. Virginia is active in her community, volunteering in the Youth in Government Program, the Maine Youth Court, the Salmon Falls Library, and as an AP United States History tutor. Virginia hopes to pursue a degree in political science and international relations and aspires to work for the U.S. State Department after graduation.
The USSYP, founded in 1962, is fully funded by The Hearst Foundations with the goal of raising awareness among young Americans about the role of the federal government and the importance of our democratic process. During their week in Washington, from March 3-10, 2018, the students will attend meetings and briefings with Senators, Congressmen, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, and an Ambassador to the United States, among others. Delegates also receive a $10,000 college scholarship to help them pursue their future endeavors.