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Jack Perenick '21 selected to elite senate program

Jack Perenick '21 selected to elite senate program

In essence, in the realm of U.S. government at the high school level, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Jack Perenick ’21 made his state’s all-star team.

Jack was selected as one of just two representatives in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to attend the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Senate Youth Program, which was held virtually for eight hours a day March 14-19.

A finalist for the position last year, Jack earned one of the coveted two spots after he submitted a resume, took a test and was interviewed by an employee at the state’s Department of Education. As a recipient, Jack earned a $10,000 scholarship.

Jack is the president of the student-run WMA International Relations Association, a Class of 2021 representative and president of the Hampden County District Attorney Youth Advisory Board.

Jack on why he applied for the USSYP: “I found out about the program through researching the Senate and its history. I found out that a lot of the principal officers of the Senate often only speak only once a year publicly and it’s to this program. It was that intimate access I was interested in exploring.”

Jack on being selected: “It was such a privilege, especially to represent Massachusetts. It was incredible to be selected in such a competitive field of people, and it was even more incredible to represent Massachusetts with my co-delegate and U.S. Senators (Elizabeth) Warren and (Edward) Markey.”

Jack on the highlight of his experience: “The highlight was being able to meet one-on-one with Senator Markey and discuss some of the policies and upcoming government events that were really occupying the news at the time. To actually be able to talk to someone who was dealing with these things and making decisions about them on the national stage live and in real time … it was almost like I was talking back with the news and interacting with some of the events that were going on.”

Jack on his biggest takeaway: “The largest takeaway for me was learning from these people who have spent their lives in government trying to improve the process and create a better system of governance. I came out with a remarkable amount of knowledge and skill in learning how to craft public policy and government agendas that are going to help the most people as humanly possible and use the policy tools of the federal government to fix some of the nation’s issues.”

What is USSYP trying to teach: “It’s all about education, service and leadership. The program tries to bring together the 104 people who are most interested in civic involvement in the government and making a change and looking at the future of the US governance. In that process they bring together people who are career officials, political officials, people who have run for office, people who have been appointed all to learn about the political process and the inner-workings of government. There was also a great affiliation with the military, who serve as mentors during the program and talked about the Armed Forces, but also about the civilian-military partnership and relationship the U.S. government maintains.”

Of note: Jack asked a question on a live NASA broadcast to an astronaut at the International Space Station.