JSA Now! Newsletter
Junior Statesmen Foundation Donate Now!
Volume II, Number 5 - May 11, 2010

Celebrating 75 Years of Civic Education 

Upcoming Events

June 6-9 Arizona Institute on Leadership and Politics


June 7-10 Texas Institute on Politics and Presidential Leadership 

'09 - '10 JSA Chapters of the Year

Alfred M. Barbe H.S.,  Lake Charles, LA; Clarkstown H.S. South, West Nyack, NY;
Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach, FL; Holy Names Academy, Seattle, WA; IDEA College Prep - Donna, Donna, TX; Naperville North H.S., Naperville, IL; Northgate H.S., Walnut Creek, CA; The Buckley School, Sherman Oaks, CA; Union Local H.S., Belmont, OH; Verrado H.S.,  Buckeye, AZ; Watching Hills Regional H.S., Warren, NJ

Dave Viotti

Voices Heard 

BY DAVID VIOTTI: This spring saw the emergence of a new "Youth Agenda" for California led by JSA. (The story can be read here.) It was a promising look at how leaders from very diverse backgrounds can work together to solve common problems. Expect more events like this across the country as our JSA students work to get their voices heard in the political process.  

In this month’s JSA Now!, Matthew Wong introduces JSA alum David Carlson and tells a story about the chapter of the year that was awarded to two Texas JSA schools at the most recent Spring State conventions.  Jeff Dunn tells you how to help summer school students and Karen Prosser writes about alumni she met at the 75th Anniversary party in Los Angeles.

Congratulations to our newly elected JSA Governors! (The story can be read here.) We wish all of our JSA graduating seniors the very best as they head off to college and welcome them to our alumni network. 

Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JuniorState  

JSA Summer School Tuition this year is $4,500. Scholarships are the only way some families can afford to send their children to the program.

How You Can Help Someone's Summer Dreams Come True 

BY JEFF DUNN: In a little more than four weeks, this year's sessions of the JSA Summer School will be underway. If you went to Summer School (or know someone who did), you know first hand how the lives of hundreds of America's future leaders are about to change.

JSA Summer School tuition this year is $4,500. Scholarships are the only way some families can afford to send their children to the program. Each year, we receive more than 1,000 scholarship applications from students who want to attend, but cannot afford the full tuition. Thanks to generous donations from alumni and friends, we gave over $600,000 in merit and need-based scholarship to students last year. We hope to give more scholarships this year and we need your help. Please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund today (www.jsa.org/give).

You can help these and other students realize their dreams by making a tax-deductible contribution today to the JSA Summer Scholarship fund. Any amount you contribute is greatly appreciated and will help us reach our goal of providing $700,000 in scholarships this year.

As you consider making a contribution please keep the following in mind:

· $4,500 provides a full scholarship for a student to attend JSA Summer School.

· $2,250 covers the cost of meals and lodging for a student to attend a JSA Summer School.

· $1,000 covers the cost of transporting students at the Georgetown Summer School to the White House or Capitol Hill for our distinguished Capitol Hill Speakers program.

· $500 covers the cost of housing for one JSA Alumnus Resident Advisor (who is responsible for mentoring 20 students in the dormitory).

· $250 covers the cost of books and other education material for one student.

· A $100 or $50 contribution gets us that much closer to our goal of $700,000 in scholarships.

Please make your contribution today at www.jsa.org/give or mail your contribution to: Jeff Dunn, JSA Summer School Scholarship Fund, 1600 K Street, NW, Suite 803, Washington, DC 20006. You can also call the JSA office at 1-800-317-9338 (toll free) to make a contribution over the phone.

Donate Now!Help promote democracy

How Can I Help JSA?

Annually, thousands of JSA alumni and friends donate their time, talent, and treasure to support the program. Please contact Matthew Randazzo, Chief Growth & Strategy Officer, if you wish to volunteer, reconnect with the program, or make a gift to JSA. mrandazzo@jsa.org or 800.317.9338. Read More

IDEA College Prep
Not one, but two new high school chapters recently won the Texas Junior State of America Chapter of the Year Award.


First-Year JSA Schools Tie for Texas Chapter of the Year Award 

BY MATTHEW WONG: Not one, but two new high school chapters recently won the Texas Junior State of America Chapter of the Year Award.

Students at Alfred M. Barbe High School of Lake Charles, La., and IDEA College Prep of Donna, Texas, were in elation and shock when Texas Program Director Elizabeth Ventura first announced the results at the 2010 Spring State convention. Prior to the unveiling, Ventura had dropped hints about the possibility of two winners.

"When Elizabeth announced that we won, I instantly threw my arms in the air out of pure excitement," Andrew David, chapter president at Alfred M. Barbe, said.

"Winning such a prestigious award was definitely the highlight of my unfortunately, brief JSA career," he added.

Like David, Gabriel Ozuna, the chapter president for IDEA College Prep-Donna, agreed. Ozuna, too, was elated about the outcome.

"Miranda [chapter vice-president] and I were on pins and needles," Ozuna said, "and we could feel the entire weight of our members on our shoulders."

After Ventura announced the results, both Ozuna and his vice-president, excited yet also in disbelief, "immediately leaped out of [their] seats."

"I remember giving her a hug in relief that our hard work had finally paid off," he recalled.

The unusual crowning of two winners in a competitive contest came after two votes, in which both Barbe and IDEA tied twice. After a tie in the first round, the Texas program director tallied up the votes from the tie-breaker round. Again, Barbe and IDEA tied.

In the end, Ventura decided to name two winners instead of one. Her reason: both schools were "pretty impressive" for first-year chapters.   

"They both had what a Chapter of the Year should look like," Ventura said. "They really engaged their student bodies."

During the school year, the IDEA College Prep-Donna JSA chapter conducted a school-wide survey on the political views of the student population. The students plan to share the survey results with the entire school later on this year.

The Alfred M. Barbe JSA chapter similarly displayed the characteristics of an outstanding chapter.

Barbe students came out in numbers to attend the Winter Congress and Spring State conventions in Texas, despite having to travel hundreds of miles from their homes. The high school is the only JSA chapter in Louisiana.

To have been considered for the award, the JSA chapters had to demonstrate the characteristics of an "Outstanding JSA Chapter." The evaluation was based on six criteria: chapter activities, leadership, maintaining chapter interest, community involvement, conventions and conferences, and presentation.

Now, having won Chapter of the Year, both schools will compete with nine other schools for the National Civic Impact Award. The winner will receive a plaque, a $500 teacher-advisor stipend, and a $2000 grant to continue their civic engagement.

As for their chances, Ventura is confident one of her schools will win.

"They have a really strong chance at winning the National Civic Impact Award," she said.

A full list of the 2009-2010 E.A. Rogers Outstanding JSA Chapter of the Year Award winners can be found here

David Carlson
 Carlson, a former California JSA governor, now teaches law at Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law in New York.

Alum Profile: David Carlson  

BY MATTHEW WONG: David Carlson, a law professor at New York City's Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, is a striking example of how the JSA experience shapes one's career choice, whether it be toward politics or another profession.

"JSA definitely steered me to law school," the former California JSA governor said. Carlson earned his bachelor's at U.C. Santa Barbara and his law degree at U.C. Hastings College of Law.

"It taught me how to be diplomatic in the midst of political debates, how to be on the opposing side, but nevertheless be friendly and collegial even to the people you disagreed with," Carlson said.

He joined the JSA chapter at South Hills High School his sophomore year. The West Covina public school was once a part of the California Junior State, which was split north and south in 1984.

Also a former Angeles Region mayor and vice-mayor, Carlson's favorite memory of JSA was a campaign to amend the electoral rules governing statewide races. Carlson, as 1969-1970 California Junior State governor, led his supporters to lobby for more transparency in JSA elections.

"When I came into the governor's [office], elections came by private ballot," he explained.

Carlson, Santa Cruz Summer School 1969, co-wrote legislation changing the electoral process from casting private ballots to roll call voting. He and his allies then stumped for votes, lobbying senators to support his cause.

"[We] did a lot of buttonholing, [and] by a very close vote, we got it through," he proudly recalled.

Since 1981, Carlson has taught real estate and bankruptcy law at Cardozo School of Law in New York.

"I like everything about it," he said. "I like the teaching. I like the writing." A lifelong learner, Carlson revealed he was becoming a mathematician. His job, after all, is "intellectually challenging."

Today, Carlson is married to fellow law professor Jeanne Schroeder and they live in New York City.  

Karen Prosser 
Updates about JSA
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Karen’s Corner

BY KAREN PROSSER: JSA alums got together in Los Angeles recently to celebrate the extraordinary career of Foundation Executive Director Jeff Harris. Attended by a bevy of admirers, including members of his family, Jeff was honored for decades of active and effective leadership of JSA and the foundation.

Celebrants gathered for a lovely brunch on April 18. The program featured remarks from two of Jeff's closest friends since JSA high school days— Janice Molnar Rutherford and Vince Farhat.

Farhat (Davis Summer School 1982 and D.C. Summer School 1983) recalled his memories of JSA in the "Harris" era and brought many to tears as he shared heartfelt admiration and respect for his dearest friend.

Rutherford (D.C. Summer School 1984) followed Jeff's best friend Vince to the podium. As a Fontana, Calif. city council member who has recently thrown her hat in the ring for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Janice credits her political success to lessons learned from Jeff Harris.

JSA alumni and friends of the 1980s among attendees included Doug VanDoren (Georgetown 1987), Tessa Kaganoff (Davis Summer School 1983 and D.C. Summer School 83), Mike Spence (Davis 1982 and D.C. 1983), Bob Little (Davis 1983 and D.C. 1984), David Knatcal (D.C. 1984), Jon Fleischman (L.A. Symposium 1985), Kelly Rudiger (D.C. 1984), Rachel Kaganoff (Davis 1980 and D.C. 1981), Dan Germain (Davis 1980 and D.C. 1981) and Bonnie Germain (Davis 1980).

Alumni in the White House: Josh Lipsky founded the JSA chapter at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, served as Mayor of the South Atlantic Region and attended the Junior Statesmen Summer School at Stanford. He is now a staff assistant in the White House who was featured in a great Washington Post article. You can read it here.

JSA Poll

This Month’s JSA Poll

Should the U.S. Senate ratify the new START treaty? 

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) was signed by presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, 2010.  The treaty requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate for ratification.  Proponents of the treaty say it enhances U.S. security by placing limits on deployed strategic warheads and by laying the groundwork for stronger international action on arms control and nonproliferation.  Critics say the limitations in the treaty on U.S. nuclear and conventional weapons undermine U.S. security and will not deter states like Iran and North Korea from seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.  

What do you think? Answer Now

--This month’s newsletter by: Dave Viotti, David M. Cole, Jeff Dunn, Matthew Wong, Karen Prosser