Humans of Metea: Shawn Park


Zainie Qureshi

Shawn Park is currently a senior. He’s involved in extracurriculars such as cross country, and competes with our speech team. Shawn was recently invited to Washington D.C. as part of a Senate youth program.

Q: What events will you be attending in D.C.?
A: I am attending the 55th Annual United States Senate Youth Program, which is a week-long government initiative created by the U.S. Senate to send student leaders to Washington D.C., where they meet with Congress members, department leaders, a Supreme Court Justice, and the President of the United States in various meetings and policy addresses. At the end of the program, students receive a $10,000 college scholarship to help finance continued studies in political science and government.

Q: How many people were selected?
A: Two students are selected from each state, in addition to two students from Washington D.C. and Department of Defense territories. Therefore, there are 104 total delegates attending the event, which will happen from March 4 to 11.

Q: What was the criteria for being selected? Did you have to submit something?
A: Each state’s selection process is different since the state’s board of education is in charge of choosing high school students. However, for Illinois, I had to submit an application that asked me for my academic history, an essay highlighting my past accomplishments and why I wish to attend, and a signature of approval from a teacher or principal (Thanks, Dr. Echols!). After I passed the first round, I had to attend a group interview in Springfield, Illinois, where I discussed current issues with other hopeful applicants in front of a panel of educators. I found out I was selected about 3-4 weeks after the interview.

Q: What do you plan to do for college and your future?
A: I do want to continue studying political science and government, but I am by no means limiting my options just yet. I would still love to explore economics and STEM, so I’ll probably end up double majoring in college.