March 09, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today met with Lily Tedford of South Portland and Katie Waeldner of Yarmouth, Maine’s 2017 delegates to the 55th Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Lily and Katie are among 102 other students from across the country who were selected to spend a week in Washington, D.C. to get an on-the-ground experience of the federal government and political process.
“Lily and Katie are outstanding students who have demonstrated a commendable desire to give back to their communities. I am so pleased that they have been chosen to represent Maine in the U.S. Senate Youth Program,” said Senator Collins. “I have the honor of being the first delegate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program to have been elected to the U.S. Senate. As a senior in high school, this incredible program strengthened my commitment to public service. I am delighted that Lily and Katie will have this opportunity to develop their leadership skills and learn about our legislative process firsthand.”
“Lily and Katie are impressive young women, and they join a long list of remarkable Maine students who have represented our state in the U.S. Senate Youth Program,” Senator King said. “Their hard work and dedication to their communities is an example we can all follow, and I’m sure they will continue to be great representatives for the state of Maine as they build upon their experience at USSYP and help shape America’s future.”
Lily Tedford attends Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone and serves as a senator in the Student Senate. Lily is also editor-in-chief of her high school's literary magazine, secretary of the prom committee, and treasurer of the French and soccer clubs. She is an admissions ambassador, peer tutor, and varsity athlete in soccer, volleyball and track and field. Lily hopes to major in English and creative writing and minor in history or political science in college. Along with becoming a writer and public servant, Lily intends to return to her home state of Maine after college in the hopes of bettering the communities in which she grew up through local government.
Katie Waeldner attends Yarmouth High School and serves as a representative in the Student Senate for the Class of 2017. She serves on both the Student Senate and on the board of directors of Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors, a nonprofit organization that works to connect resources with those in need. Dedicated to community service, Katie founded a voucher program at her town’s farmers’ market for those in need, wrote a grant for weekend food bags for food-insecure elementary students and coordinated her town’s summer meals program. She leads numerous clubs with missions promoting anti-bullying, mentoring and the inclusiveness of students with intellectual disabilities. Katie is a multiple sport athlete achieving state championships and personal awards.
The USSYP, founded in 1962, is fully funded by The Hearst Foundations with the goal of raising awareness among young Americans about role of the federal government and the importance of our democratic process. During their week in Washington, from March 4-11, 2017, the students will attend meetings and briefings with Senators, Congressmen, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, and an Ambassador to the United States, among others. Delegates also receive a $10,000 college scholarship to help them pursue their future endeavors.
Photo 1: Senator King with U.S. Senate Youth Program Delegates.