|Volume 1, Number 2 - December 9, 2009
JSA Announces Summer Classes Just in Time for New Year!
HERE TO DONATE!
Feb. 5-7, 2010
Midwest, Ohio River Valley, Southeast
Feb. 6-7, 2010
Long Beach, CA
Feb. 13-14, 2010
Feb. 20-21, 2010
Feb. 20-21, 2010
challenges you to
take a civics quiz
Citizenship Then and Now
VIOTTI: I just got back from
two great, student-run Fall State Conventions in Florida and
California. In Florida, U.S. Senator Robert Graham encouraged our JSA
students to move beyond classroom discussion about policy and into
their local communities where they can affect real change. Graham's new
book, America, the Owner's
Manual, provides a good roadmap
for each of us to help make democracy work for all people.
JSA has adopted the theme "active citizenship" for our 75th year. This
is really going back to JSA's roots, where student leaders were engaged
the political process even while they were in high school. JSA Alum
Stanley Mazor, for example, was a registered legislative advocate for
the young people of California when he was JSA Governor in 1958 (he
went on to co-design the world's first microprocesor). Expect to see
more of our current JSA leaders at city hall with this renewed focus on
Several of you replied to my previous post about the number of American
adults who failed the National Civic Literacy Exam and asked for the
link to the exam. Our democracy depends on informed citizens. Take
the quiz and see how you do
(remember, you're always welcome to join us at JSA events to refresh
your civics knowledge).
JSA students asses American
influence at Fall State
conventions across the nation
State Attendance Rises Across the Country
majority of JSA jurisdictions reported a rapid rise in Fall State
Convention attendance this year with the Northeast, Pacific Northwest,
Southeast, and Southern California Junior States leading the way.
"We are off to the best start in the history of the
Northeast," said NE Governor, Dan Hoffman, who presided over
JSA's largest convention which attracted over 1000 students
Over 4,000 students nationwide attended one of the ten JSA Fall State
Conventions held across the country. This year's convention
theme, "Beyond the Horizon: Assessing American Influence," set the tone
for a weekend of great debates, thought talks, and simulations.
Each convention also attracted a number of high profile speakers.
Former Senator, Governor, and Florida legend, Bob Graham addressed a
packed room of students at the Southeast Fall State about the
importance of good citizenship. Mr. Zhang Yun, Consulate General of
China in Los Angeles, spoke about the necessity of bilateral relations
between the United States and the People's Republic of China
at the Los Angeles Fall State, and the keynote address delivered by
controversial Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, at the Arizona Fall
State was covered by Phoenix Fox affiliate KUTP.
Click on JSA
for more information about this year's Fall State
offerings for the 70th
Annual Summer School
the 2010 Summer School Courses
JSA Summer School:
JSA is proud to announce its summer 2010 program offerings. We continue
our long-time partnership with Georgetown, Princeton, and Stanford
universities to offer a three-week residential summer school
enroll in one college level government or speech
course that is supplemented by JSA’s signature Congressional
Workshop. Summer 2010 course offerings include: AP U.S. Government, AP
Macroeconomics, International Relations, War & Diplomacy,
Speech & Political Communication, Constitutional Law, and Media &
Politics. Additionally, we have several special programs including an
four-week AP U.S. History program at Princeton, a Freshman Scholars
program for rising high school freshmen, and the JSA Diplomat program
in Beijing, China!
in the JSA Diplomat program will earn
college credit and take courses in Modern Chinese History &
Politics and Beginner’s Chinese. Our summer school programs
are the pinnacle of the JSA experience and attract hundreds of student
leaders annually. We are committed to getting JSA members to summer
school. To that end, we are focusing our scholarship funds for our 75th
Anniversary in support of our dedicated JSA members by offering them a
JSA member tuition rate of $3,750. Hopefully, this will make
summer school more affordable for JSA members during these challenging
economic times. Click here to nominate an outstanding student for summer school or contribute to our scholarship fund.
Weeklong leadership institutes complete JSA’s summer
offerings. They include: The Gene Burd Institute on Media &
Politics (UCLA), generously endowed by alumnus Professor Gene Burd;
Energy & the Environment (Stanford); Texas Institute on
Leadership & Politics (UT Austin); Northeast Institute on
National Security (TBD); and the Arizona Institute on State
& Local Government (Arizona State). These programs give students
unparalleled access to elected officials and leaders in the private, public,
and non-profit sectors. To learn more about our programs, visit www.jsa.org/summer.
Alum and Hume-Fogg
Academy Magnet student,
Holly McKee, explains
how she got hooked on JSA.
I Started a JSA Chapter
One fateful day this past April, I opened my mailbox to find a brochure
for the Junior Statesmen Summer Programs. The further I read through
this pamphlet, the more I was determined to apply.
I’m an incurable political nerd, so this was a dream. After
deciding on spending a sizeable chunk of my senior summer on the
sun-drenched Stanford campus and on enrolling in Constitutional Law, I
quickly submitted my application.
A mere two weeks later, I received a rather bulky packet from JSA that
informed me of my acceptance. It included a nice little handwritten
note from Carter McCoy, the NorCal and Stanford Summer School Program
Director. I distinctly recall squealing like a Jonas fan and then
proceeding to mass text my friends.
Two months later, I boarded a plane to San Francisco and immediately
fell in love with the Junior State program. After sitting in the dorm
lounge for ten minutes, about thirty people had broken into a
water-boarding debate, which seamlessly morphed into a presidential
Those three weeks cemented my irrational love for the Supreme Court and
case law, brought some rather exceptional people into my life, and
changed my outlook on the responsibilities of citizenship.
During the program, we were constantly being pressured by our two
Governors (our lovely Liz Litteral included), Lt. Governors, and
various Cabinet members and other elected officials to start chapters
at our high schools if we didn’t already have them.
Being from Tennessee, I came under the most ferocious of attacks and
pressure to establish what would become the second chapter in the
entire state. I blew the idea off in California, rationalizing that I
had far too much on my plate as it was and that I did not want to
commit academic suicide in my final weeks of high school.
The moment I arrived back in Nashville, an insatiable yearning to
return to JSA became more and more apparent everyday and eventually, as
the Facebook group so eloquently words, I would put my nametag on and
cry myself to sleep.
I considered attending conventions as an independent delegate, but
changed my mind when a couple of my friends expressed interest in the
program. Within a week, we had a group on Facebook with 45 members, the
AP US History teacher as our sponsor, and approval from the
We now have constitution, tax-paid members, and have attended our first
Fall State Convention. We can’t wait for Winter Congress.
"JSA Babies" and other alumni
news from Karen Prosser.
Are you an alum?
in Your Updates
PROSSER: Great to hear from David Benzaquen (NES JSA Governor 2001-2002)
who graduated this past May from Milano: The New School for
Management and Urban Policy with a Master's Degree in Nonprofit
Management. He is the Campaigns Coordinator for Farm Sanctuary -
the nation's leading animal protection organization. Farm
Sanctuary rescues farm animals from abuse and provides them lifelong
sanctuary at shelters in Western New York and in Northern
California. For more information visit
Roxanne Forde (1979 Junior State Davis Summer School)
emailed to say hello after reading about the JSA 75th Anniversary
Celebration. "Seeing your face and your daughter Amy's picture
reminded me that you all are a part of who I am-- brave, strong, civic
minded, not afraid to speak my mind and insist on democracy always,
even when it's not popular."
who received a BA in Applied Psychology from Cal State and an MA in
Industrial/Organizational Psychology from CUNY, is a Regional
Compliance Manager with American Life & General Insurance Company
JUNIOR STATE BABIES
Kevin Gross (1979 Junior State Davis Summer School, JSA Treasurer 1980-81)
and his wife, Lisa, are celebrating the August 2009 birth of their
second child, a daughter named Sydney. Sydney joins her three
year old brother, Daniel.
recently joined the Chevron legal department after 10 years with the
SEC Division of Enforcement, and is looking forward to catching up with
all the JSA alums in the East Bay of Northern California.
UPDATE ON LAST MONTH'S COLUMN
Dear readers, my last Corner did not do justice in an entry on JSA alum Jay Maguire
reaching the grand old age of 40. Jay emailed us some new info
and I am happy to make amends by including an update in this
and his fiance, Leslie, are officially engaged and hope to tie the knot
in June 2010. Congrats to Jay and welcome to the JSA family,
addition to being a big time lobbyist in Texas, Jay is the acting
Executive Director for the proposed Texas Center for Translational
Medicine, and head of the JSA alumni committee which, among other
things, planned the 75th Anniversary Inauguration Reception in
Washington last January, which was a huge success.
Debby Jasgur Mendelsohn (1983 USC Junior State Symposium)
writes that her children, 8th grader Emelie, now known as "Mel" and 7th
grader Doug are thriving and excelling in school, scouts, band, and
being the ultimate authority on the Twilight series of books and
has found a way to keep up with her family and maintain a professional
career as a consultant focusing on environmental legislative policy and
governmental affairs. She volunteers as the Family Readiness
Group leader for her husband Bill's National Guard Unit and serves as
the lead volunteer for the California National Guard's Army Division,
helping Soldiers and their families prepare for the challenges of
deployments and other emergencies. You go, girl!
Petti Matila (1999 Junior State Northwestern Summer School), from American Samoa, recently reflected upon her summer school experiences with us.
was intimidating at first for an island girl at the age of 15 to travel
far away from home to the Junior State Summer School.
Experiencing college life first-hand, meeting outstanding students from
all across the nation, writing speeches, and participating in
Congressional simulations are all wonderful memories from my JSA summer
JSA alumni from American Samoa, including Petti, have assumed
leadership roles in local government as well as church and community
did I know how my Summer School courses would play a vital role in my
future career. I worked for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, and
currently serve as an Economic Growth Specialist /ARRA Compliance
Analyst for the Economic Stimulus & Recovery Office, a division of
the American Samoa Governor’s Office.”
summer Petti and two other Summer School alumnae were on-island
recruiters for Junior State Summer School in American Samoa.
Petti hopes to return to Washington, D.C. next year to attend graduate
Happy Holidays to all of My JSA Family and Friends!
That's it for this issue of Karen's Corner. Holiday Cards are
beginning to arrive and with them, the great family updates. Have
a great holiday season and let me know what you are up to so I can
include your news in the next Corner— firstname.lastname@example.org
month's newsletter by: Dave
Viotti, Jeff Dunn, Alanna Lee, Karen Prosser, Matthew Randazzo
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