The mission of the Junior State of America and the Junior Statesmen Foundation (JSA) is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.
In the student-run Junior State and at JSA summer schools and summer institutes, participants learn statesmanship as they engage in political discourse. They cultivate democratic leadership skills, challenge one another to think critically, advocate their own opinions, develop respect for opposing views and learn to rise above self-interest to promote the public good.
What We Do and Whom We Serve
Since 1934, the nonprofit Junior Statesmen Foundation and the Junior State of America (JSA) have helped more than 500,000 student leaders acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be active, informed and responsible citizens, voters and leaders. We are committed to developing a diverse cross section of young leaders throughout the entire country.
During the school year, the student-run Junior State of America operates on high school campuses nationwide as an extra-curricular activity. JSA allows students to experience first-hand the drama and power of politics as well as the challenges and responsibilities of leadership. JSA chapters serve as the center of political awareness at their schools and JSA conventions bring thousands of students together to share their opinions and learn from each other. JSA and the Foundation also conduct an annual national leadership conference at the Montezuma School, the site of the organization’s founding. Volunteer teacher/advisors and foundation staff support these activities. Although separate organizations, The Junior Statesmen Foundation and the Junior State of America work in close collaboration, on a daily basis, to achieve their common goals.
Every summer, foundation conducts college-level summer schools on the campuses of Georgetown, Princeton and Stanford universities, as well offering the Summer Diplomat Program at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China. These programs offer a rigorous curriculum that includes advanced courses in government, politics, history and public speaking. The foundation also conducts institutes that offer advanced study of national issues and state and local government. Our speakers’ programs, a highlight of the summer programs, allow students to engage elected officials, public administrators, members of the media, lobbyists and civic and business leaders in lively dialogues about the public policy issues facing this nation.