WASHINGTON, March 21, 2020–Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Junior Committee & Youth Ambassador Program presented by Signature Academics. In its 11th year, this innovative program is an opportunity for Washington-area teens to be a part of the inner workings of one of the most prestigious and competitive equestrian events in North America which returns to Capital One Arena, Oct. 20-25, 2020.
“WIHS’ Junior Committee members bring a passion, enthusiasm and caring for not only horses and our sport, but also for the local community,” said WIHS Executive Director Mary Helen Shaughnessy. “No idea is too big and no task is too small for the dedicated members of the committee. Whether it is working behind the scenes to help execute the challenging tasks during show week or participating in charitable outreach projects throughout the year, each member of the JC is invaluable to achieving WIHS’ mission of entertaining and educating the DC region through the joy of horses.”
Junior Committee presentation at 2019 WIHS. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Each year through an application process, WIHS management selects approximately 30 teens from public, charter and private schools in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to join the WIHS Junior Committee. Working with WIHS staff, committee members participate in planning and brainstorming meetings, learn new skills, and work on youth and community activities.
During show week, Junior Committee members serve as tour guides and press escorts, manage the Snapchat takeover, and share equestrian knowledge to help educate show visitors about horses and horse sport. Junior Committee members also are involved in equine-related volunteer activities, culminating in the ever-popular WIHS Kids’ Day on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Junior Committee at WIHS Breakfast with the Mounted Police community event.
Photo by Jump Media LLC
The WIHS Youth Ambassador holds a leadership role as chair of the Junior Committee and represents the show’s youth perspective to the media. Those wishing to be considered for the position as 2020 WIHS Youth Ambassador will complete an additional application to showcase strengths in leadership and management.
“We are delighted to return for the fourth year as sponsor of the WIHS Junior Committee,” said Wendy Salomon, Executive Director of Signature Academics, a leading provider of educational services for student athletes, including one-to-one fully accredited school in Wellington, Fla. “The WIHS Junior Committee members are an exceptional group of teens, and it’s our pleasure to support their efforts in leveraging a love of horses into fun and innovative programs, like Barn Night and Kids’ Day, for show spectators and the local community.”
Junior Committee volunteering at Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program.
Since 2014, Salomon, an avid equestrian herself, and her Signature team have been tutoring equestrian student-athletes year-round in Wellington, seasonally in Ocala, Fla., and at major national horse shows, including Washington. “We specialize in supporting equestrian student-athletes who place a high value on education,” said Salomon. “Our goal is to provide peace of mind to students and families that academic achievement remains the number one priority, even in the face of non-stop training, traveling, and competition.”
During show week, Signature Academics team members can be found working with students in the Signature Academics study center, located on the competition level at WIHS.
Junior Committee having fun during show week! Photo by Hannah Jones
The deadline to submit applications is April 6, 2020. Applicants must be students between the ages of 14 and 18 enrolled at local Washington, D.C.-area schools.