NORMAN — Norman North High School student Ryan Chapman is concerned with more than just his weekend plans or the latest high school gossip. He spends his time thinking about how the health care system, college loans, interest rates and the debt ceiling will affect his generation in the long run.
As a result of his concern and insight into current polities, Chapman put his leadership abilities and government knowledge to the test and was selected as one of two Oklahoma high school students to serve as an Oklahoma delegate in the 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program in March.
Chapman is the son of Lance and Brenda Chapman and a senior at Norman North.
Chapman will travel to Washington, D.C., and spend one week there March 8-15. He will attend meetings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, an ambassador and other top political and media figures.
Chapman also will get a behind-the-scenes look at places like the FBI, White House and Pentagon. All expenses for the trip are covered by The Hearst Foundations. Delegates also will receive $5,000 college scholarships from The Hearst Foundations.
Gloria Tso, from Bartlesville High School, was the other Oklahoma student selected.
One hundred and four delegates from every state, Washington, D.C., and U.S. military bases were selected to attend the youth program. Students who were chosen to be delegates must show strong leadership skills, volunteer regularly and be in the top 1 percent of their state’s high school juniors and seniors academically.
The goal of the program is to teach delegates about the importance of public service and encourage them to pursue it as a career and area of study.
Chapman said to be selected, he had to demonstrate involvement in a leadership position, take a government exam and interview with a panel of judges. The exam involved 20 true or false questions, 30 multiple choice questions and identification of Oklahoma and U.S. representatives.