By: Sharon Aron Baron
A Coral Springs resident is one of two students selected to join Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott at the nation’s capital during the 58th annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week.
Lorraine Angelakos will join the senators on March 7-14, 2020. She was selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation and will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.
Angelakos, a senior at Pompano Beach High School, who serves as the senior class president and has completed 1,062 hours of community service, said she was overwhelmed with emotion after receiving the notification of being selected for the prestigious award.
“I am so excited and honored that they have chosen me to represent Florida on a national level,” she said.
For as long as she could remember, she has been interested in politics and government. Over the last two years, she worked with Broward County Teen Court, as a bailiff, juror, and advocate of the court, to try to reduce teen recidivism.
She also serves as an appointed member of the Broward County School Board’s Diversity Committee and was selected as a nonpartisan teen leader to participate within Ted Deutch’s Congressional Youth Cabinet. She is the recipient of the Congressional Award, at the gold medal level, the highest youth-focused award bestowed by Congress to recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young leaders.
Her parents are Peter and Nicole, and she has a sister Victoria, who are all long-time residents of Coral Springs. She also attended Coral Park Elementary and Forest Glen Middle School and was awarded first place at the 2015 Florida History Fair.
Angelakos will be flown to Washington DC, where she will have an intensive week studying the federal government, and she will be meeting with Senators, Supreme Court Justices, legislatures, and ultimately the President.
She has applied to several universities and plans on a double major in political science/government and classical studies/Hellenic studies. She is aiming to attend law school after she graduates.
The other student selected is Uma Menon, a senior at Winter Park High School who serves as one of three student senators in her school’s student senate, and as the regional president of the Future Business Leaders of America State Virtual Chapter.
She was appointed as one of fifteen global student leaders for the College Board and as the first Youth Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival. Uma was invited to the 2019 State of the Union by Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, for whom she served as a U.S. Congressional intern. Uma’s debut book, Hands for Language, is forthcoming from Mawenzi House in May 2020.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Initially proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony 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 for people around the world.”
Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.
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.
While in Washington, the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media.
Angelakos said, “My excitement is uncontrollable, as I am counting down the days until I leave for Washington.”