SJHS senior will represent Ohio in United States Senate Youth Program

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Elijah Lutz, 17, a senior at St. Joseph High School, has been selected as one of two students to serve as delegates for the state of Ohio in the United States Senate Youth Program.

Alongside 102 other students from across the United States, Lutz will spend a week in Washington, D.C., in March, meeting with members of the federal government such as senators, presidential cabinet members and officials, a justice of the Supreme Court, and the President of the United States. Elijah will also be awarded a $5,000 scholarship for his undergraduate studies by the Hearst Foundations, which has co-sponsored the Senate Youth Program since 1962.

“I am extremely honored and grateful to be selected. I was happy with just being able to take the test for it, but to actually be selected is mind-blowing and unreal,” Lutz said. “I come from the smallest high school in the state, and I live in the southernmost part of the state, and being able to represent my school and community in this is truly an honor. None of this could be done without the support of my amazing family, my awesome friends and classmates and all of those who supported me the entire time. Without them, I may have lost my mind. If I had any advice to anyone, it would be to not overlook the importance of things such as Boys State and student government. Without my amazing experience at Boys State, absolutely none of this would be possible. I am thrilled and more than excited to go, and now it is just counting down the days until March.”

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Lutz was selected by the Ohio Superintendent of Education, along with Jacob Dretzka from Galion. They were selected based on their academics, activities, service, and scores on a highly competitive qualification test taken in October.

Lutz is the student body president at St. Joseph, as well as a member of the National Honor Society. He is the team leader and a senior attorney on the mock trial team, varsity captain of the quiz bowl team, editor of the school newspaper and a member of the yearbook staff. Lutz is involved in his church community as well, serving as the head altar server for the Ironton Catholic Community.

Outside of school, he is involved in government and civics, currently holding an internship at Rep. Bill Johnson’s office in Ironton, and he completed a shadowing of Judge C. David Hagerman in Boyd County over the summer. In June, Lutz was a delegate to the American Legion Buckeye Boys State, where he originally applied for the Senate Youth Program. At Boys State, he was elected by fellow delegates to be his county’s common pleas court judge, where he also won the Outstanding Citizen Award for Outstanding Trial Judge.

He is the son of Michael Lutz and Donna Lutz, and is the grandson of John and Cornelia Lutz, and the late Donald and Joyce Richardson. He will attend the Senate Youth Program from March 7-14.

The United States Senate Youth Program is an intensive weeklong educational experience and scholarship program sponsored by the United States Senate for outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service. The mission of the United States Senate Youth Program is to provide a yearly opportunity for the selected students to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government overall as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. The program provides a foundation of knowledge and encouragement for those considering a future of public service on the local, state or national level.