Hofmeister congratulates students chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program

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Carrie Burkhart
Director of Communications
(405) 521-3371, c: (405) 760-7881

Erin Corbin
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-3375

Annette Price
Communications Specialist
(405) 521-6647



Hofmeister congratulates students chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 27, 2022) – Two Oklahoma high school seniors have been named state delegates to the 60th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP), which brings together outstanding student leaders from every state.

Jonathan Menzel from Inola High School in Inola and Aishwarya Swamidurai from Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast in Oklahoma City will join 102 other delegates from around the country March 6-9 for a highly interactive, virtual education and leadership forum.


“Jonathan and Aishwarya are bold leaders in their schools and provide encouragement and inspiration to their fellow students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Their remarkable contributions are also evident in the positive impact they’ve had on their communities. I am pleased they will be representing Oklahoma in the prestigious U.S. Senate Youth Program.”

Menzel serves as student body president, member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Teen Board and member of the Oklahoma State Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. He has received the Oklahoma State Superintendent's Award for Arts Excellence, leads the baritone section of his school choir and has been accepted in several all-state choirs and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.


Aishwarya Swamidurai serves as the president of her senior class. She also serves as the youth governor for the Oklahoma YMCA Youth and Government, is an at-large representative on Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt's Youth Council, organized a school-wide voter registration drive and has helped organize a breast cancer fundraiser.

William Clifton Loughridge from Edmond Memorial High School and Raven Elizabeth Simone Owens from Edmond Santa Fe High School were chosen as alternates.

During the forum, Menzel and Swamidurai will attend online meetings and briefings with U.S. Senators, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court and leaders of cabinet agencies. Both students were chosen by Hofmeister after a rigorous application process that adhered to high standards set by the USSYP.

The USSYP has been sponsored by the U.S. Senate and fully funded by the Hearst Foundation since its inception in 1962. The goal of USSYP is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but people around the world.”

Menzel and Swamidurai will also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue their studies in government, history and public affairs.


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Last updated on January 27, 2022