The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is pleased to announce Peyton Barker from Greenbrier East High School in Greenbrier County and Bryson Riggleman from Petersburg High School in Grant County as 2024 West Virginia delegates in the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Students are selected based on demonstrated leadership skills through roles in student government, education, public affairs or community service.
Barker and Riggleman will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and join Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and 102 other high school students from across the country in Washington, DC, during the 62nd annual Washington Week from Mar. 2 – 9, 2024. Throughout this week, USSYP delegates will hear policy addresses from senators, cabinet members, departments of State and Defense officials, other federal agency leaders, and more.
Barker currently serves as the student body president for Greenbrier East High School and student representative for the Greenbrier County Board of Education. She plans to pursue mechanical engineering in post-secondary studies and remain active in the Student Government Association.
Riggleman is Petersburg High School’s national honor society historian, student council president, senior class president and Skills USA president. He plans to pursue a career in criminal justice or politics.
“These students embody what it means to be dedicated to personal, professional and academic development. Each of them is an active member of their school and local community, and they prioritize selfless service to others,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt. “They have shown exceptional work, and we are fortunate to have them represent the Mountain State at the national level.”
Bryan Cole from Spring Mills High School in Berkeley County and Gavin Bias from Scott High School in Boone County were named 2024 West Virginia alternate delegates.
The USSYP was created in 1962 with the passing of Senate Resolution 324 to inspire generations of high school students to deepen their understanding of American political processes, encouraging them to pursue careers in public service.
To learn more about the USSYP, visit the USSYP website.