Jan. 23, 2019 – George Pratt just got one step closer to his ultimate dream of becoming a United States senator.
The Paxon School for Advanced Studies senior is one of two students statewide to be selected to participate in the prestigious 2019 United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).
As part of the program, Pratt will join Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rick Scott in representing Florida at the 57th annual USSYP Washington Week in March. Additionally, Pratt and his fellow cohorts will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.
“Words cannot express how grateful I am to be selected as one of the delegates to represent Florida,” said Pratt. “The program is of extreme importance to me because I am being granted the once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from the government’s leading officials and dialogue with like-minded young persons from across the country.”
Pratt said he was humbled when he learned he had been selected for the competitive program. He initially found out about the opportunity by browsing the United Negro College Fund website and later applied through the Florida Law Related Education Association.
The senior class president and chair of the Rules and Bylaw Committee for the Jacksonville Mayor’s Young Leaders Advisory Council said he believes the USSYP will be life-altering and will invigorate his passion to effect positive changes in his community.
“I hope to integrate the knowledge gained from the program into the way in which I lead, as I position myself to a lifelong commitment of public service and attempt to make the world a better place,” said Pratt.
After graduating from high school in May, Pratt said he intends to double major in History and Religion with a minor in Leadership Studies at Morehouse College. He then plans to clerk for a federal appellate judge, pass the bar, work for the United States Attorney’s Office, be ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and then ultimately run and be elected as a United States senator.
Established in 1962, the mission of USSYP is to give students a deeper knowledge of the American political process and instill a lifelong commitment to public service.
Each year, the program assembles high-achieving students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intense week-long study of the federal government. While there, students attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies and members of the national media.
Nationwide, students are selected by their respective state departments of education after being nominated by teachers and principals. This year’s Florida delegates were selected by Ms. Pam Stewart, former Commissioner of Education.