Parkway South High senior Anushka Rawat is one of only two Missouri high school seniors selected as a delegate to the U.S. Senate Youth Program. All delegates win a $10,000 college scholarship and a week-long, expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., from March 4-11.
Two students are chosen from each state, along with two from Washington, D.C., and two from the Department of Defense (overseas ) for a total of 104 student delegates.
The program is designed for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service.
To apply for this honor, Rawat had to write three 250-word essays and one 2,000-word essay. She was judged on her academic excellence, public service commitment and leadership experiences. She underwent an intense interview with a panel of judges in Jefferson City, where she was asked about her Girl Scout Gold Award project, school activities, leadership qualities and thoughts on timely political topics. She prepared for the interview by talking to previous delegates and reading their essays.
“I really wanted it,” she said.
During Washington Week, the student delegates will meet and learn from elected and appointed officials in Washington. They will attend briefings and meetings with senators, the president, a Supreme Court justice, cabinet members, federal agency leaders and senior members of national media.Rawat has never been to D.C. before. She said she is looking forward to touring the city, attending a meeting with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and having dinner with Missouri senators.
Rawat was also placed fourth in the environmental engineering category of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair last May and won a $500 scholarship. Her project, “A Novel Biodegradable Device To Combat and Prevent Water Eutrophication,” focused on preventing and minimizing the negative effects of fertilizer runoff on marine life.
She had to win a local, state, regional or national science fair to qualify to compete. She accomplished that task last February by winning the St. Louis Academy of Sciences Fair.
Rawat would like to attend law school and work in environmental policy. She hopes to attend Washington University in St. Louis next fall.
“I really want to go, so I’m trying to make it happen,” she said.