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San Diego High School Senior Selected to United States Senate Youth Program

San Diego High School Senior Selected to United States Senate Youth Program

Canyon Crest Academy senior Aaron Combs was one of two high school students recently selected to represent California in the 62nd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). The delegates and two alternates will be recognized by the State Board of Education during its January meeting in Sacramento.

“I am proud to have Aaron, who currently serves as a student board member on our board, represent San Diego, our county, and our great state in the Senate Youth program,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “Aaron was selected based on his leadership skills, academic and extra-curricular achievements in school, and service to his community.”

Sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, selected students gain an in-depth view of the U.S. Senate and the federal government overall, as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, according to the national USSYP. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity each receive a $10,000 undergraduate scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for Washington Week to meet and learn from high-level appointed and elected government officials from March 2 to 9, 2024.

In addition to serving as a student board member for District 5 on the San Diego County Office of Education, Aaron served on Canyon Crest Academy's school site council as the youngest chair and first neurodivergent student elected. He is the first to serve as Youth Ambassador for the San Diego International Sister Cities Association, which represents San Diego as citizen diplomats to 24 countries around the world. He organized a youth panel at the Sister Cities International US–Mexico Mayor’s Community Summit, introduced San Diego to over 30 Maasai Chiefs in Maasailand, and participated on a panel at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 

Aaron is founder and executive director of Students For Attention, a student-led nonprofit organization whose mission is to redesign educational systems for neurodivergent students through Neurodivergent Student Alliances. Aaron was selected as one of 100 winners from 50,000 global applicants for the Rise for the World Global Award and received the Yale Bassett Award for his work with the Maasai. He plans to major in environmental studies and comparative studies in race and ethnicity to specialize in educational and environmental equity. His passion is ensuring that our nation supports sustainable, inclusive livelihoods, narrowing the equity divide for underserved communities.

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