Mr. Sanchez Goes to Washington

by | Mar 21, 2023

Above: Guy Sanchez and fellow R.I. Senate Youth delegate Dominick Lombard meet with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Submitted photo 

The EGHS senior took part in U.S. Senate Youth Program 

By Connor Straut

EGHS senior Cayetano Sanchez, spent a week earlier this month in Washington, D.C., one of Rhode Island’s two participants in the U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP). The idea of the program is to give high school students interested in pursuing a career in public service a taste of public service in the nation’s capital. 

Cayetano, who goes by Guy, said he was first introduced to politics by participating in student government in 6th grade. His run for office was as class treasurer, a campaign he lost, but he persisted. Today he serves as EGHS senior class president. 

His winning slogan through several elections: “Don’t Be Shy, Vote for Guy.” 

“My interest in politics continued throughout middle school and high school as I began to follow local and national news around elections,” said Sanchez. As the years progressed along he expanded political knowledge, most notably from his AP U.S. Government and Politics class. “I loved furthering my knowledge of our national government and learning about how our nation’s history shaped our government institutions,” he said. 

“I had a fantastic and enriching week in Washington D.C. while participating in the U.S. Senate Youth Program,” he said. “I met with accomplished individuals from various parts of the government including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and Senators Whitehouse and Reed from Rhode Island. It was interesting to hear the perspectives of people who had worked public service for years.”

Guy said his favorite part of the week was hearing from Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado. “He was very friendly and gave excellent, pragmatic advice on working in government,” he said. “He was the mayor of Denver and the governor of Colorado before he became a senator, so he had a great perspective on the differences between local, state, and federal government. His friendliness and willingness to answer all manner of questions demonstrated the importance of being approachable and relatable as a leader.” 

“I went into the U.S. Senate Youth Program wanting to enter politics, and I can safely say that I am still committed to a career in public service,” Guy said. “Hearing from many government officials showed me how powerful the government can be in enacting positive change, but also that there is still much more work to do. Several of the speakers brought up a phrase contained in Preamble to the Constitution: ‘to form a more perfect Union.’ That sentiment, that our government should constantly be striving to achieve perfection, is what drives my future commitment to public service.”

He added, “I am definitely glad that I went to the U.S. Senate Youth Program. When I applied, I mainly thought about the scholarship, but the program itself was greater than I could have possibly imagined, a truly once in a lifetime experience.”

Guy Sanchez in front of the White House. Submitted photo

Connor Straut is a senior at East Greenwich High School.

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