State superintendent appoints Irvine Unified student for the 2023 U.S. Senate Youth Program

U.S. Senate Youth Program

A Northwood High School senior who already has a long list of accomplishments under her belt was chosen by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond as a delegate for the 2023 U.S. Senate Youth Program. 

Student Fiona Lu from the Irvine Unified School District will join Summer Sun, a senior from Chico Unified, in March as they represent California for an intensive week-long educational experience in Washington, D.C.

The highly competitive program includes a $10,000 undergraduate scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Senate, along with an all-expenses-paid trip for outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service. 

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 as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. It is a true partnership among government leaders, state and national education leaders, and America’s future leaders.

In California, Superintendent Thurmond made the final selections based on a criteria that factored in leadership, noteworthy commitments to their schools and communities, and academic and extracurricular achievements. 

“These extraordinary students are among the best of the best in their schools and communities and have already accomplished so much in their young lives,” State Superintendent Thurmond said. “I know they will continue to achieve great things and be excellent representatives for California. I applaud their civic involvement and their advocacy work on issues such as equity, mental health awareness, the environment, social justice, and more. Their dedication assures me that our future is in good hands.”

Fiona currently serves as the vice president of the California Association of Student Councils, where she oversees legislation and budget proposals and plans more than 20 conferences for over 700 students. The high school senior is an advocate for mental health initiatives and is passionate about supporting underserved populations. 

“As a member of the Irvine Unified School District’s Student Advisory Committee, Fiona is committed to representing student voices and perspectives,” Executive Director of Secondary Education Dr. Keith Tuominen said. “We are proud that she will not only represent IUSD as part of this prestigious program but also the students of California.”

This year’s alternates are Nathaniel Watts, a senior at Carlsbad High School in the Carlsbad Unified School District, and Sabrina Brandeis, a senior at Monte Vista High School in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

You can find more information on the U.S. Senate Youth Program here.