Hadia Choudhary

For Immediate Release

Contact: Questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or state selection process: 

Mr. Jeffrey Davidson at jeffrey.davidson@ade.arkansas.gov or (501) 682-7590. 

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program:  

Program Director Ms. Rayne Guilford at rguilford@hearstfdn.org or (800) 425-3632. 

Arkansas Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program 

Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 Scholarship 

January 10, 2023, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP)  announces that high school students Ms. Hadia Naeem Choudhary and Mr. Ahilan Eraniyan will join  Senator John Boozman and Senator Tom Cotton in representing Arkansas during the 61st annual USSYP  Washington Week, to be held March 4 — 11, 2023. Hadia Choudhary of Searcy and Ahilan Eraniyan of  Bentonville 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. 

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate  and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel,  Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the Senate leadership of the day, the impetus for the program as stated  in Senate testimony is "to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three  branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials,  and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people  around the world." 

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. The  overall 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. In  addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate  college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.  All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in  S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized. 

Hadia Choudhary, a senior at Searcy High School, serves as the Senior Class vice president and  Future Business Leaders of America president. She also serves as the president of her school’s French  Club, French Honorary, and Youth Advisory Council. She has founded the project “End the Uyghur  Genocide,” a student-led social justice initiative that is currently drafting legislation for the Arkansas  legislative session. She is a poet and recently performed at Crystal Bridges for the “We the People: The  Radical Notion of Democracy” program exhibition. Hadia intends to fulfill her personal religious studies at  Madina Institute in Atlanta before going to an out of state college to grow her knowledge and experience in  international issues. 



2023 Arkansas Delegate Announcement 


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Ahilan Eraniyan, a senior at Haas Hall Academy Bentonville, serves as a Senior Class  representative on the Board of Club Relations, an arm of student government. He presides over his  school’s Science Competitions Club, Model UN team, and Robotics team, along with being the co-captain  of his school's Quiz Bowl team. Throughout his academic career, Ahilan has earned medals at the  International Geography Championships, a gold medal at the Arkansas Science Olympiad, and more. He  serves his community by volunteering at a local hospital and intends to major in biosciences and global  studies before attending graduate school. 

Chosen as alternates to the 2023 program were Ms. Maahi Sethi, a resident of Bentonville, who  attends Bentonville West High School and Mr. Bannon Sansom Price, a resident of Ashdown, who attends  Ashdown High School. 

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the  District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and  principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s  Arkansas delegates and alternates were designated by Johnny Key, Secretary of Education. 

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. 

Members of the U. S. Senate Youth Program 2023 annual Senate Advisory Committee are:  Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado, the 2023 USSYP Democratic Co-Chair and Senator Shelley Moore  Capito of West Virginia, the 2023 USSYP Republican Co-Chair. The full USSYP Senate Advisory  Committee consists of the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders  who annually serve as the program’s Honorary Co-Chairs; two senators, one from each party, serving as  acting Co-Chairs who each have keynote speaking roles, and an eight-member bipartisan senate panel,  four senators from each party, who lend their names in support. Serving on the Advisory Committee for the  upcoming program are: Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey,  Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, Senator Marsha Blackburn of  Tennessee, Senator Bill Cassidy, MD, of Louisiana, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator  Cynthia M. Lummis of Wyoming. 

For more information please visit: www.ussenateyouth.org