Thursday, South Carolina's State Superintendent of Education Dr. Mick Zais congratulated two South Carolina students, including one from Aiken High School, for winning a $5,000 college scholarship and the opportunity to serve as delegates representing South Carolina during an all-expense paid trip by The Hearst Foundation to Washington, D.C.
"I am so proud of Tanner Charles Slagle and Brandon Matthew Muniz," said Dr. Zais. "This is a great achievement reflecting well on their individual efforts, their teachers and parents. I am confident that they will represent us well in Washington, D.C. next spring," said Dr. Zais.
The 52nd Annual U.S. Senate Youth Program will be held March 8-15, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The program was created in 1962 to increase awareness of the three branches of government among young Americans and the responsibilities of elected and appointed federal officials. It is sponsored by the U.S. Senate, and The Hearst Foundation covers all expenses for the annual trip.
Each year, this competitive merit-based program brings two outstanding high school students from each state to the nation's capital for an intensive week-long study of the federal government. The students generally rank in the top one percent of their state and must be serving an elected or appointed position in student office, or in an educational or civic organization. Including the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity, a total of 104 students will participate.
The Hearst Foundation awards each student with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship, encouraging coursework in history and political science.
Tanner is a junior at The Scholars Academy in Conway. He is a student government representative, works part-time at Lowe's, and enjoys hobbies that include traveling, reading, and spending time with his friends and family. Tanner plans to become a political strategist and work on political campaigns. His parents are David Slagle and Angela Huggins of North Myrtle Beach.
Brandon is a senior at Aiken High School and class vice president of the student council. He belongs to the National Beta Club, National Honor Society and the school's Spanish club. He is on the high school soccer team, mock trial team, and academic team. He plans to major in economics or political science and work for the government in global affairs and public policy. His parents are Dr. Leopoldo and Terry Muniz of Aiken.
Alternate delegates are Qingyang Hu from Lexington High School in Lexington District One and Nishesh Chaubey from Southside High School in the Greenville County School District.
This year, 644 nominations were made by South Carolina school principals and counselors. All students were given a 60 question multiple choice exam, with scores tallied by the University of South Carolina. Students with the top 30 scores were invited to write a one-page essay on a topic chosen by The Hearst Foundation, focusing on U.S. history, the Constitution, or public policy at the state or federal level. The two students with the highest combination score between the multiple choice test and essay were named as the state's delegates by Dr. Zais.
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