Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) met with Joseph (Joe) Bergeon, a senior at Kennebunk High School, and Jay Philbrick, a junior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM), at the U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP) reception.
“Joe and Jay have done an outstanding job in representing Maine as delegates to the U.S. Senate Youth Program,” said Senator Susan 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 delighted that Joe and Jay also had the opportunity to participate in this exciting opportunity. In addition to their academic and extra-curricular achievements, Joe and Jay each have a commendable record of giving back to their communities, and they have very bright futures ahead of them.”
“I had the privilege to address the Senate Youth Program delegates when I served as the program’s co-chair last year, and let me tell you – the engagement, intelligence, and curiosity of these students blew me away,” said Senator King. “This year is no different, and the selection of accomplished leaders like Joe and Jay makes it clear that Senate Youth Program has again chosen excellent representatives for the state of Maine. It was wonderful to meet them, and I can’t wait to see how they continue to make an impact in their communities and on our entire state.”
Joe serves as a student representative on the Board of School Directors for RSU 21. He is a member of the Class of 2019 Executive Council and was also the 77th youth governor of the Maine YMCA Youth in Government program. Joe is active in his school’s debate team and is a member of the varsity swim team. He hopes to pursue a degree in international studies and business. Last summer, Senator Collins sponsored Joe as a Senate Page.
Jay, of North Yarmouth, serves as the treasurer of the Student Senate. He is the head tutor at MSSM’s Learning Center and president and founder of their High School Quiz Show team. Jay has been recognized for his academic talents, as well as for being selected as a Michael P. Fabio grant winner. Jay was also a finalist for the Lemelson-MIT grant, which is awarded to individuals who have created outstanding inventions or patented products that add value to society. For his project, he and his team created a system to grow and harvest algae on rooftops to be used for feedstock production. Jay hopes to pursue a degree in economics and to one day serve in public office.
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 2-9, 2019, 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.