Two students from New Canaan High School will represent Connecticut next month in the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program, an educational program for high-schoolers interested in learning about the national government and careers in public service.

New Canaan High School seniors Veronica Ma and Charles Sosnick will spend a week of intensive study in Washington, D.C., where they will rub elbows with Washington politicians and view the political process firsthand.

"We will see many of the monuments, museums, and government buildings in the city," Sosnick said. "And, we will meet senators, congressmen, a Supreme Court justice, the president and other leaders."

"We spend a week in Washington, D.C. with students from around the United States," two from each state, Ma said. "While there, we'll have the unique opportunity to hear policy addresses by senators and cabinet members, meet with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and view the inner workings of our governent system."

Ma and Sosnick were nominated for the program by New Canaan High School principal Veronica LeDuc.

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"Each school (in the state) has the opportunity to nominate two students that fit the criteria of applicants," Ma said. "Typically, these students are involved in student government or some other type of elected/appointed leadership."

"I am student body president and Veronica is class president," Sosnick said. "After being nominated, we submitted applications and wrote two essays. From there, about 20 students from around the state were chosen to do an interview in Hartford. Veronica and I were selected as the two state delegates after the interviews."

They were selected as delegates for the program by Connecticut's Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor.

Ma is a high honors student; serves as president of the China Care Club, an organization that provides funds and awareness for at-risk Chinese children; and is a passionate debater, piano teacher, and English as a Second Language teaching volunteer.

"I think I was chosen because I demonstrated my self-motivated interest in pursuing my education about the national government," she said.

Sosnick is captain of the school's Model United Nations team and co-founder of its Interfaith Dialogue Club, is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, and writes for the school newspaper.

"I think it was our work in student government and genuine interest in politics and government that caused us to be chosen," Sosnick said. "Also, being educated at New Canaan High School gives us things like public speaking skills and an emphasis on developing our own opinions, so we are fortunate to have that."

That both Connecticut delegates come from the same school is itself a bit of an accomplishment.

`We were told that this is the first time anyone can remember where the state delegates came from the same school so this is highly unusual," Sosnick said.

Ma, for one, is glad it worked out this way, and said representing Connecticut and New Canaan High will be especially rewarding since she gets to share it with Sosnick.

"I am particularly honored to represent Connecticut alongside Charlie, as we've been good friends since middle school, and I am sure of his capacity to learn and lead," she said.

Both Ma, who is headed to Harvard, and Sosnick, who is bound for the University of Pennsylvania, are eagerly awaiting their D.C. experience.

"I'm most looking forward to meeting different senators and hearing an address from President Obama," Ma said. "I've always been intrigued by public service. I hope this early, firsthand experience will give me a better sense of what I want to do with that interest."

"I am most excited to hear what these policymakers have to say specifically to a group of students," Sosnick said. "I'm also excited to see what the inside of the White House looks like."

And as for future plans?

"I am considering a career in politics," Sosnick said. "I think my dream job would be something like what Jon Stewart does, where it's a mix of comedy and politics. I don't like when people think that government is out of their reach or hard to participate in. I would love a job where I can bring people closer to politics by entertaining them."

"I'm definitely considering a career in politics, and I have a particular interest in international relations," Ma said.

Maybe something in the Oval Office?

"The White House?" she said. "I'll keep dreaming about that one."