CCSH senior selected for Senate youth program | NevadaAppeal.com

CCSH senior selected for Senate youth program

Christine Kuklica
ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com
School Board President Ron Evans, right, recognizes Churchill County High School student Garrett Kalt for being selected to a U.S. Senate youth program.With their son are Alan and Kieran Kalt.
By Christine Kuklica / ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com |

Garrett Kalt, a Churchill County High School senior, has been selected as one of two student delegates to represent Nevada at the 52nd annual U.S. Senate Youth Program from March 8–15 in Washington, D.C.

Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller issued a press release stating what an honor it was for the students accepted to the program.

According to the press release, the extremely competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students — two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity — to Washington, D.C., for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service.

Kalt said he was ecstatic when he received the letter of acceptance. He said the first person he called was his dad, who helped him find the scholarship.

“Both of my parents are excited for me,” Kalt said. “They couldn’t be more proud … it’s like a sense of success for them that they’ve done a great job raising me into who I’ve become.”

Terry Pearson, CCHS student council adviser, was thrilled when she heard Kalt was accepted to the program.

“I am very proud of Garrett’s hard work,” Pearson said. “I’ve helped students apply to the same program before, but Garrett is the first one to get accepted in my 12 years here. Garrett is a very driven, persistent student who I know will do well in the program.”

In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundation provides each of the delegates with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. In addition to the outstanding leadership abilities and strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top 1 percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors.

Kalt said he has many perspective colleges that he plans to apply. His current top choice is Washington State University. He plans to major in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science.

Alan and Kieran Kalt both said they couldn’t be prouder of their son.

“I’m extremely proud and excited for the opportunity that my son was given and worked hard for,” his father said. “Garrett is a strong, great kid and has been involved in student government since he was little. We’re truly blessed to have such a great son and we’re thankful for the Hearst Foundation and Nevada Sens. Reid and Heller for allowing him this opportunity.”

The Churchill County native has been involved in student government since elementary school and currently serves as the CCHS student body president. He has held an elected position on the student council every year at CCHS. During his freshman year, Garrett Kalt served as the treasurer, vice president during his sophomore year and president as a junior. Kalt is also involved in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program and other community organizations. He recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing more than 100 hours of community service during his junior year.

“I’ve always wanted what is best for my class, that’s why I’ve always been involved in student government,” Kalt said. “I’ve had so many role models in my life that have encouraged me and believed in me.”

Kalt said he is excited for the opportunity the trip to Washington, D.C. will provide. According to the press release, the delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators and congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media.

“I think this opportunity will help me in my future goals,” Kalt said. “It will be a great learning experience for me. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I got accepted to be apart of. Whether I go into politics or not it will be extremely beneficial for me.”

Kalt said he is truly grateful for everyone that has helped him along the way and who have been supportive of his life pursuits and to the selection board who allowed him the opportunity to be apart of the select few of the USSYP.