Montclair, NJ – Serena Jade Lee, a Montclair High School senior, has been accepted into United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program provides the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – with an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.
Lee, along with Anjali Keira Krishnamurti of Somerville High School, will join Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Cory Booker in representing New Jersey during the 61st annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 4 — 11, 2023. The two students were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. Each delegate will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.
Lee serves as the Student Council president. She also serves as the high school student liaison to the Montclair Civil Rights Commission, vice chairperson of Montclair Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board, as a member of the Montclair Public Schools’ District Equity Team and the National Equity Project. She is co-president and founder of Montclair Menstrual Club and president of the MHS Asian Student Union, and is also a student leader with the New York City-based Asian American Student Advocacy Project and captain of the Montclair Robotics Team. She has mentored middle and high school students, was Asian American Pacific Islander Montclair’s founding media and communications chair, and works tirelessly for equity, diversity and transparency. Through her work, Serena has become an adept organizer and volunteer. In college, she hopes to study organizational behavior, international relations, Asian American studies, and management.
During the program week, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, and leaders of cabinet agencies, among others.
In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 6,000 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service.
Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, the first alumnus to be appointed as a cabinet secretary; former Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.