|Volume II, Number 6 - June 15,
Readies for Another Fun-Filled Summer
June 20 - July 11
Georgetown I Summer School,
June 27 - July 18 Stanford
Summer School, Mountain View CA
July 1 - 26 Beijing
Diplomat Program, Beijing,
July 4 - August 1 Princeton
Summer School (APUSH), Princeton,
July 11 - August 1
Princeton Summer School, Princeton,
July 18 - August 8
Georgetown II Summer School,
THE 2010 NATIONAL CIVIC IMPACT AWARD WINNER
Hills Regional H.S., Warren,
Institute Examines Arizona
VIOTTI: The weather is as hot as the issues at JSA's Arizona
Institute on Leadership and Politics, being held this week at Arizona
State University. Our students are taking on the Arizona immigration
law, SB 1070, issue head on.
had a chance to question the author of the controversial bill, along
with "Sheriff Joe" Arpaio and other state leaders and journalists
engaged in the debate.
in its fourth year, our Arizona program is thriving.
month's issue of JSA Now! pays tribute to Richard Prosser, who
announced his retirement in May after 41 years of service to the
foundation. We also share the work of our newly elected council of
governors, Jonathan Schwartz is our featured alum this month and
there's other alumni news in Karen's Corner
former executive director of JSA from 1969 to 2007, announced his
retirement in May.
Prosser Retires After 41 Years with JSA
BY DAVID M. COLE: Following a 41-year career
with the Junior Statesmen Foundation, Richard T. Prosser announced at
the end of May that he was retiring. Prossser served as the executive
director of the foundation from 1969-2007 and most recently had been
the group's national affairs director and Arizona state program
During Prosser's time as executive director, the student-run
organization grew from fewer than 1000 active students participating in
California and Washington state to chapters in 450 high schools with
more than 10,500 dues-paying members from virtually every state in the
Additionally, Prosser grew the summer program from a single summer
school on one college campus in California that served fewer than three
dozen students to sessions held on campuses at five universities around
the country that provided more than 1400 students annually the Junior
Statesmen Summer School experience. Prosser also conceived, created and
implemented summer symposia, week-long summer sessions held around the
Under Prosser's stewardship more than 400,000 high school students were
involved in the year-round and summer programs.
"Richard Prosser personifies all that JSA tries to teach about
leadership and statesmanship," said Alex Evans, president of the board
of directors of the Junior Statesmen Foundation. "He has been and will
continue to be an inspiration for the board and our staff."
"The modern JSA program exists precisely because of the personal
commitment of Richard Prosser," said David Viotti, chief executive
officer of the Junior Statesmen Foundation. "In my time running JSA,
Richard has provided me wise counsel and has been gracious in his
support. We wouldn’t be where we are today if Richard had not
taken over in 1969."
Prosser first became involved with Junior Statesmen at Napa High School
in Northern California 50 years ago. He served as a regional mayor in
the student-run organization and in its state senate.
After completing an undergraduate degree at Sacramento State, Prosser
joined the Junior Statesmen Foundation as executive director in 1969,
supervising the student program and acting as director of the summer
schools. During his tenure at the foundation, Prosser received a
masters' degree in mass communications at San Jose State University.
Prosser, along with his wife Karen Prosser, tirelessly raised funds for
the organization, visiting corporations and community groups to secure
support to grow both the summer and year-round programs. In the late
1960s and early 1970s, Richard was the group's only paid staffer.
newly elected JSA governors met in California over Memorial Day weekend
to discuss their plans for national JSA.
Governors Organize for 2010-2011
BY JEFF HARRIS: Over Memorial Day weekend the
recently elected governors of the eight states and two territories
gathered at the JSA office in San Mateo to formally meet one another
and discuss their future plans for the national JSA organization.
More than any other year, most of the new Council of Governors already
knew each other because they had attended the 2009 Montezuma Leadership
Summit last summer together. This made it easier for them to
efficiently move past the common lengthy introductions and get to work
even sooner than expected.
After meeting and discussing national goals with Foundation Board
President Alex Evans and Chief Executive Officer Dave Viotti, the
Council of Governors (commonly called the COG) focused on how to better
utilize the Internet and other technologies to move JSA forward in the
Elected to national roles were Issy Figueroa of the Pacific Northwest,
as the upcoming year's COG chair; Lia Cromwell of the Northeast, as
foundation trustee; Tony Castagnoli of the Midwest as CoG secretary,
and Alex Maingot of Texas, as COG treasurer.
The other 2010-2011 governors include Arizona's Theo Jones, the
Mid-Atlantic's Brent Bovenzi, Northern California's Jay Moody, the Ohio
River Valley's Raja Gupta, the Southeast's Jared Odessky and Southern
Cailifornia's Matthew Saunders.
Following the appointments, the governors established goals for the
national JSA organization: to increase the number of tax-paid chapters
to 525, the number of tax paid members to 11,500, and to establish a
national cabinet that would efficiently run the interests of COG when
each governor is occupied with the functions of his or her own state or
Throughout the weekend, while meeting with various adults and alumni
affiliated with JSA, the governors were constantly reminded of the
reason they came to California in the first place: to further expand
JSA and expose high school students to the ideals Prof. Rogers laid out
more than 75 years ago.
One of the most valuable moments of the weekend was choosing the themes
for both Fall State and Spring State for the upcoming school year.
Together, the COG came up with the Fall State 2010 theme, Energizing America: Capturing the Winds of
Change and the Spring State 2011 theme, Revolutionizing Democracy: Yesterday,
Today, and Tomorrow.
a Georgetown Summer School alum, now works as an attorney with
Bressler, Amery & Ross, LLC.
Profile: Jonathan Schwartz
MATTHEW WONG: Jonathan Schwartz is a testament of how the
non-partisan Junior State of America helps individuals develop,
strengthen — and sometimes even radically change — their
political beliefs. A major impact JSA had on Schwartz's life: his
political conversion from being a liberal to a conservative-leaning
Since 2008, Schwartz has worked as an attorney with Bressler, Amery
& Ross, LLC. He specializes in securities law and commercial
"When I went to JSA, I was extremely liberal," Schwartz, an alum of
Georgetown Summer School 2000, said. "It was always Democrats with a
Living among a diverse background of people and political beliefs,
Schwartz was introduced to a variety of opinions. "That was really the
first time I was exposed to very conservative opinions," he admitted.
With much credit to JSA, Schwartz later impressed his bosses, as an
intern with Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), with his political knowledge
A Floridian, Schwartz first heard about JSA after receiving a brochure
in the mail. "I noticed that one of the summer programs was based in
Washington, D.C.," he said. "I wanted to go to Georgetown [University].
I wanted to test out living in Washington."
Schwartz did, and he loved it. "I thought it was fantastic," he said.
"The experience was extremely helpful and it really allowed me to make
a lot of friends."
Schwartz, who described the JSA summer program as "a great learning
experience and opportunity," eventually decided to study at George
Washington University, also located in the nation’s capital.
A quick learner, Schwartz finished his undergraduate career in three
years, double majoring in history and political science, minoring in
international affairs. He then studied law at the University of Florida.
JSA taught him to "become more independent and analytical, which are
two features very helpful in law," he said. "In order to be successful
as a litigator, you need to be able to think on your feet quickly,
analyze the facts around you, and objectively assess the importance of
alumni from Karen Prosser
Are you an alum?
in Your Updates
PROSSER: In the "It's a Small World" category: Robert Benedetti, Ph.D., and
political science professor at the University of the Pacific, is
scheduled to be our Redwood Grove speaker at the JSA National
Leadership Conference at the Presentation Center/Montezuma School in
August. We discovered that his daughter, Beth Benedetti, attended the 1998
JSA Summer School at Stanford and the 1999 Georgetown session.
She graduated from Willamette University in Oregon with a major in
political science and a minor in economics. She wrote her senior thesis
on the initiatives in Oregon, California and Washington attempting to
legalize physician-assisted suicide. She showed it to the president of
the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Sacramento
and he hired her on the spot as research director. She stayed there
seven years and received a masters of public policy from the University
of San Francisco while working. Then she got a job with Alliant
University in institutional research. She works out of Sacramento, but
for the San Francisco headquarters. In other words, she has used both
her politics and her heritage in higher ed.
director of this summer’s National Security Institute (and former
program director) Larry Guillemette
writes that he was at a Memorial Day barbeque. "I was introduced to all
the guests, none of whom was familiar. Over the course of the evening,
I met a young woman who was from Guam. I mentioned that I had been to
Guam in the late 1990s and she asked what made me travel to Guam. I
told her that I worked for a non-profit educational organization and
was doing recruitment for their summer programs.
"She said, 'Are you talking about Junior Statesmen?' So there we stood
and for the next half hour we talked all about JSA/JSF and how great
the program was, how much she enjoyed the University of Texas summer
school and how hard she had worked to raise the funds to attend. Her
name is Angel Palomo and she's
a speech therapist in Maryland. Her brother attended the Stanford
Do all JSA alumni
go into the law? Sometimes it seems that way. At the recent Los
Angeles 75th Anniversary event, the crowd was full of lawyers and
lawyers-to-be. Jennifer Brockett,
a Summer School grad and a former JSA SoCal State Speaker, is an lawyer
and she is married to another laywer — Bobby Swerlow, who also was a JSA
SoCal State Speaker. Jennifer and Bobby have two adorable little boys
— lawyers in the making?
former JSA SoCal Governor and Summer School grad is in her second year
at Stanford Law School after spending a year in the Teacher's Corps.
former JSA SoCal governor and Summer School grad is an attorney and he
and his wife, Alisa brought baby Sam Finsten to the event. A spitting
image of his daddy, baby Sam delighted one and all.
No, and here’s proof: Casey Isom,
a JSA Alum from Fruitland, Idaho, writes us: Thought I should give an
update. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Asian studies at
Brigham Young University, I went to medical school at the University of
Washington. I stayed at UW for a residency in plastic and
reconstructive surgery. I have been practicing in Logan, Utah, for four
years. I have been married to Jennifer (Chenn) Isom for almost 15 years
and we have four kids, ages 10 to 18 months. We enjoy the mountains and
rivers in Northeast Utah. I am still keeping a close eye on government
affairs and stay involved in the process."
JSA Summer School alum from the 1980s, Eric
Oliver, is professor of political science at the University of
Chicago. His books include Democracy
in Suburbia, Fat Politics:
the Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic, and The Paradoxes of Segregation: Race,
Neighborhood, and Civic Life in Multi-ethnic America, published
this month. Oliver was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at
Yale University (1999-2001), a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage
Foundation (2002-2003), and winner of a Young Investigators Career
Award from the National Science Foundation.
Month’s JSA Poll
Who has the better news parody show, Jon
Stewart or Stephen Colbert?
Stewart, host of The Daily Show,
and Stephen Colbert, host of The
Colbert Report, are two of America's most popular late-night
comedians. Stewart took over as "anchor" of The Daily Show in 1999. Colbert,
himself a former "correspondent" of The
Daily Show, became the "anchor" of the conservative spinoff, The Colbert Report, in 2005. Today,
many Americans, in particular those of the younger generation, watch
either The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, to get their
latest scoop on the nation's news and politics. Who has a better "news"
do you think? Answer
month’s newsletter by: Dave
Viotti, David M. Cole, Jeff Dunn, Matthew Wong, Karen
Prosser, Jeff Harris
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