District Five student named a semifinalist for Senate Youth Scholarship

Irmo High School International School for the Arts junior, Alex Blocker, is one of 11 semifinalists named for the 2021 United States Senate Youth Program Scholarship by the South Carolina Department of Education.

The final round of the competition will take place in January. Two delegates and two alternates will be selected in February to represent South Carolina.

“I wanted to apply for this scholarship as it is exactly what I was looking for which is a political based scholarship,” Blocker said. “The program also leads to lifelong friends being made, and many connections elsewhere. I am grateful that I was selected and hope to be one of the two senators. I want to thank everyone from the teachers and the counselors who helped me along the way. This experience has taught me the value of what a good environment can bring.”

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) is an intensive week-long educational experience and scholarship sponsored by the United States Senate for outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service. High school junior and seniors may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year, OR if students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit a qualifying position held during the 2019-2020 academic year.

The mission of the United States Senate Youth Program is to provide a yearly opportunity for selected students to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government overall as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The program provides a foundation of knowledge and encouragement for those considering a future of public service on the local, state or national level.

The 104 student delegates also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship to the college or university of their choice with encouragement to continue coursework in government and history.

“Alex Blocker is a natural leader,” said Irmo High School Principal Dr. Robin Hardy. “His efforts to serve Irmo High School as student body vice president, along with his academic accomplishments in our International Baccalaureate Programme, demonstrate his commitment to learn and to guide our future generation to reach their maximum potential.”