Hilo High Senior to Represent State at Youth Senate Program

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Left to right: Jennifer Kamimura, Kate Helbush

A Hilo High School senior will be one of two teenagers to represent the state at the 58th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) in Washington, D.C., this March.

Jennifer Kamimura from Hilo High School and Kate Helbush, a senior from Moanalua High School in Honolulu, will participate in the week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.

“This year’s delegates display strong leadership as active members in their community. We are proud to have these students represent the state in our nation’s capital,” said Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “It is an exciting opportunity for Kate and Jennifer to get a deeper understanding of the American political process and we encourage them to share their experiences with their community, school and peers.”


The USSYP is a competitive merit-based program that invites two outstanding selected students to Washington, D.C., for the week-long study. Student delegates attend meetings and briefings with elected officials, a Supreme Court justice, cabinet members, U.S. ambassador and senior members of the national media. In addition to the program week, each student receives a $10,000 college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.

Kamimura has been the president of the student association since freshman year. She maintains a 4.0 GPA, holds the title of National Honor Society vice president, and is an active Key Club member, volunteering more than 300 hours of service to her school and community.

Helbush serves as a member of the Hawai‘i State Student Council. She has demonstrated leadership as a student senator, Air Force JROTC squadron commander, and student government chairperson.


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