Batangan chosen for United States Senate Youth Program


Photo by Courtesy of Megan Batangan

Megan Batangan received an acceptance letter to be one of two students from Hawai`i to attend the annual United States Senate Youth Program from March 8-15, 2014.

By Destinee Murray, staff writer

Senior Megan Batangan has been selected to attend the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) in Washington, D.C., with an all-expenses paid trip.

“I’m really excited that I was selected,” Batangan said.

Bantangan is one of two students who will represent the state of Hawai`i as a delegate. She will also receive a $5,000 college scholarship to encourage her to study history and political science. The program is to be held March 8-15, 2014.

“I know that it’s a prestigious program that many high-ranking government workers participated in as high schoolers,” Batangan said about why she’s grateful for being selected.

The USSYP was established in 1962 to provide an education experience for outstanding high school students pursuing a career in public service, according to their website. Each year two students from each state spend a week in the District of Columbia to experience national government in action.

To be considered, a student must be a junior or senior in high school. The student must also be a class or student body officer in the positions of president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer.

Batangan is the school’s student body treasurer and has been involved in student government since her freshman year.

To qualify, students had to submit an application that included a resume`, a few short answers, and an official transcript. Students also had to take a test about the Constitution, current events, notable U.S. Supreme Court cases, and presidential trivia. At the end, students had to write an essay on one of five topics in 45 minutes.

Bantangan applied for the program last year and was chosen as an alternate.

“That was disappointing because I felt like I was so close,” Batangan said.

Last year’s students met President Barack Obama, and Batangan hopes to be given the same opportunity.

“I wanted to meet important political figures in DC,” she said.

She was informed that she was one of six students who was selected to move to the interview round after sending in her application. Because the selection panel was on O`ahu, she did her interview via video conference.

After a month, Batangan learned she had been selected as one of the two to participate in the program.

“I hope to gain more knowledge, insight, and advice from the D.C. trip. I can then take everything I’ve learned and apply that to what I plan on majoring in college, which is political science,” she said.