Woodland student earned Senate youth award




PROSPECT — A Woodland Regional High School student has been selected for the United States Senate Youth Program at the nation’s capital.

The USSYP selected WRHS senior Yasmeen Magdy Galal of Prospect and Snigtha Mohanraj of Ansonia as the two students from the state for the 62nd Annual USSYP Washington Week which will be held from March 2 to 9. The two students, who were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation, will join state Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Christopher Murphy. Each delegate will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship, according to a USSYP press release.

The USSYP is an intensive week-long educational experience and scholarship sponsored by the United States Senate for outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service according to its website.

The general mission of the program is to help instill within each class of student delegates more thoughtful knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong pledge to public service, the release states.

The Region 16 Board of Education congratulated her and presented Galal with a certificate at its Jan. 10 meeting with many board members saying her receiving her honor was amazing
“United States Youth Senate Program is very prestigious,” said Woodland Regional High School Principal Kurt Ogren, who added it’s quite an honor and pretty rare.

State Departments of Education around the nation and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity select the delegates after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection.Delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, and leaders of cabinet agencies, among others, the release states.

Galal serves in many leadership roles including as a student representative for the state Board of Education, president of the Connecticut Association of Student Councils, a student representative of the Commissioner’s Roundtable for Family and Community Engagement in Education, a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation.

For her high school, she serves as the student body vice president, math team captain and tennis team captain as well.

Ogren said this is the second person who has received this honor since he’s been principal with the first person being Galal’s sister, Ayah Gala who is now a reporter/multimedia journalist and Hartford Bureau Chief for WFSB Eyewitness 3.

“Yasmeen is definitely going to go on to great things,” Ogren said.

Yasmeen Galal said she knew about the program from her sister. The application involved two essays, two pages of a resume and then two rounds of interviews, who added that it was intense.

Ogren said it’s so prestigious that two folks from the state board of education informed him of the news and asked if they could come and tell her in person. They were excited about it as well and drove from Hartford to congratulate her.

Yasmeen Galal plans to major in political science and computer science for her undergraduate college journey.