white concrete building during daytime
JHHS senior Jackson Fouras is one of four Wyomingites to be selected into the program. Photo: Ian Hutchinson

JACKSON, Wyo. — A Jackson Hole High School (JHHS) student has been selected as an alternate to represent the State of Wyoming during the 60th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week.

JHHS senior Jackson Fouras is one of four Wyomingites to be selected.

Jackson Fouras. Photo: Courtesy

“I think that this achievement is a tangible milestone for my political activism, which means a lot to me,” said Fouras. “In the sociopolitical world, you really don’t see any rewards for your efforts unless something big happens, and I guess, for me, applying for the USSYP really made me realize how much I contribute to this community.”

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.

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most exceptional 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. However, this year, the program will be held online. The 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. The USSYP is set for March 6-9, 2022.

Fouras credited their AP Government teacher, Cheryl Katz, for encouraging them to apply.

“I remember her giving me the packet and I started talking about how I was a soon-to-be national representative for USA Swimming, and she said I was the perfect candidate for this scholarship. I truly must thank her for teaching me how to be an avid politician in the swimming world, and also for how much she helped me along the way of this scholarship.”

In addition to Fouras’ academic achievements, they are also a decorated swimmer with the local Stingrays Swim Team.

The two delegates selected to join Senator John Barrasso and Senator Cynthia Lummis in representing Wyoming in the USSYP are Cameron Nicholas Reckard of Sheridan High School and Tamica Lee Smith of Arvada/Clearmont High School.

Jaden Sophia Campbell of Niobrara County High School in Saratoga is the second chosen alternate.

She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.