Senior to Experience Government in Action with US Senate Youth Program
He hasn’t yet graduated from high school, but David Oks ’19 already has quite the political resume, replete with a bid for local mayor and a summer spent paging for Senator Charles E. Schumer.
And now, Oks is diving back into politics, this time as one of only two students in New York state selected to participate in the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).
The week-long program takes place in March of 2019 and is an opportunity for young people interested in pursuing careers in public service to experience national government in action. Participants are invited to Washington to hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members and officials from federal agencies, as well as to participate in meetings with the president of the United States and a justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Oks had been interested in applying to the program since he first heard about it in eighth grade, and was pleasantly surprised when he found out he had been selected. The process included an interview in Albany, which “had gone really well, but still, I thought it was a very competitive field,” Oks said. “So when they told me I had [been selected], I was pretty happy.”
While someone with his accomplishments might seem a natural fit for a future politician, Oks shared that his involvement in politics is actually a result of his interest in history. He noted, though, that running for mayor of Ardsley, New York, “was a great experience. Talking to voters was always a lot of fun.” He also enjoyed his time in Washington as a Senate page, where he experienced the excitement and energy of speeches on the Senate floor and also met several senators.
The USSYP will, of course, provide Oks with many enriching and unforgettable experiences. But more than anything, he said, “I really do look forward to meeting a lot of ambitious young people.”