WHHS senior chosen for prestigious Youth Senate Program
WHHS senior chosen for prestigious Youth Senate Program
Posted on 01/07/2014
Yingxian Guo


WEST HAVEN, Dec. 16, 2013 — West Haven High School student Yingxian Guo has a senior year jam-packed with school work, band practices, internships, school newspaper deadlines, student government meetings and other projects.

But she’s going to have to clear her schedule from March 8 – 15: She’ll be spending the whole week in Washington, D.C., getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at federal government, now that she’s been selected as a student delegate for the prestigious and highly competitive United States Senate Youth Program. Only 104 students from across the country are chosen for the honor.

“I’m just really excited to be able to go to Washington, D.C., and get a first-hand look at government and be able to hear from incredible leaders in politics and in general, learn more about our government and how it serves people,” said the teen, who typically goes by her nickname Ying and is currently ranked as valedictorian for this year’s graduating class. “I’m also looking forward to being able to experience all of this with other kids from around the nation.”

Guo is the second student from WHHS to be accepted into the Senate Youth program. Abdul-Razak Zachariah, who graduated from WHHS in June and now attends Yale University, served as a delegate in 2012.

Delegates each receive a $5,000 college scholarship and, as part of their week-long session in Washington D.C., will hear policy addresses from legislators and directors of federal agencies, participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and have a chance to meet President Barack Obama.

The program is intended for students considering a career in public service and chooses participants based on rounds of essays and interviews. Its website says that delegates “are consistently of the highest caliber in the nation.”

Guo hopes to major in political science in her undergraduate years in college and eventually go to law school to become an attorney. She first became interested in political science and government after taking the advanced placement (college-level) government and politics class at WHHS with teacher Mark Consorte and volunteering on Sen. Chris Murphy’s campaign in 2012.

She decided to also pursue a career in law after winning a statewide essay contest sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association last year.

“I just remember at the ceremony, one of the lawyers said—and it really resonated with me—that lawyers sometimes have a murky reputation, but always know that as an attorney, you have the ability to help others when they need help the most,” Guo said.

She now interns with well-known New Haven-based law firm Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, P.C., once a week and assists with medical malpractice cases. She also interns with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s office, primarily working on veterans’ affairs.

That’s all in addition to serving as the captain of the WHHS girls’ swim team, editor of the school newspaper, captain of the Yale Urban Debate League, co-representative of the School Governance Council, senior field leader for the marching concert band flute ensemble, and as a member of the Student Government. When it comes to academics, she’s currently enrolled at WHHS in advanced placement calculus, advanced placement literature, advanced placement psychology, a philosophy honors class, Spanish IV honors, and marching concert band. She’s also volunteered at Yale-New Haven Hospital since her freshman year of high school.

Consorte recalled having Guo as a student last year.

“Being her teacher was a joy, but it was challenging. I wondered, ‘Am I pushing her enough?’” he said. “I think it’s outstanding she was accepted to the Senate Youth program. It’s well-deserved. She will just thrive in an environment like that.”

WHHS Principal Pamela Gardner said teachers and staff are consistently impressed with Guo and her work ethic. It’s admirable that despite all the work and extracurricular activities she currently handles, Guo never shies away from new academic opportunities or chances to help others.

“She’s the type of student who you know will excel in anything she chooses to pursue,” Garnder said. “We’re so proud she will be representing our school, West Haven and Connecticut in the Senate Youth program.”

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114; susan.misur@whschools.org