Wyoming Students Selected For US Senate Youth Program
Phoebe Elaine Allbright of Lusk and Sophia Gomelsky of Laramie will join Senator John Barrasso and Senator Cynthia Lummis in representing Wyoming during the 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week, set for March 4-11, 2023. That's according to a release by the Wyoming Department of Education.
What's the USSYP?
The USSYP was established by the U.S. Senate in 1962 and provides an educational experience for students interested in public service careers. The program provides an in-depth view of the Senate and federal government, as well as a deeper understanding of the relationships between the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Branches.
During the program week, the student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, and senior members of the national media, among others.
Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.
Allbright and Gomelsky were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.
In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history, and public affairs.
Allbright, a junior at Niobrara County High School, serves as the Wyoming Future Business Leaders of America's (FBLA) state secretary. In addition to holding state office, she is the vice president of her local FBLA chapter and the secretary of her local Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter. She is a two-time national qualifier in both organizations.
Allbright is also a member of her local National Honor Society chapter. She has been a representative in Student Council and has served her Class of 2024 as the treasurer since her freshman year. She helps her community by volunteering at her county library alongside her FBLA chapter and helping her 4-H club host monthly community service projects.
She is also currently serving National FBLA as the communications/social media director of the Mountain Plains Region Council. Allbright’s future plans include pursuing an undergraduate degree in business management and public relations and eventually owning her own business.
Gomelsky, a senior at Laramie High School, serves as the Wyoming DECA state president, an organization with a focus on business and entrepreneurship. She also serves as the Speech and Debate Team captain, Mock Trial co-captain, and has held leadership positions in theatre, such as student director, assistant choreographer, and several lead roles.
Gomelsky’s successful public speaking and competitive career include representing Wyoming at DECA Internationals, the national circuit debate, and the National Mock Trial competition. She is also Wyoming Girls State governor, advocating for youth involvement in political processes across the state. She has helped plan a local food drive, rent relief initiative, and mural painting project, disseminates election information, assists with voter registration, works as a student election judge, and canvasses for local candidates.
She is a legislative intern and worked as a page at the state legislature during the 2022 budget session. She represents the Student Body through the Laramie Youth Council, Youth Advocacy Board, National Honor Society, and as a Student Council representative. Gomelsky’s future plans include double majoring in political science and international studies with a minor in Spanish at the University of Wyoming.
Chosen as alternates to the 2023 program were Caroline Hope Di Senso of Cheyenne, who attends Cheyenne East High School, and Karina Catherine Lea from Thermopolis, who attends Hot Springs County High School.
For more information, visit www.ussenateyouth.org.