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New National Cabinet Members Appointed

New National Cabinet Members Appointed

The Council of Governors has appointed a diverse group of JSA members to lead its 2017-2018 initiatives. From debate to overseas outreach, governors selected individuals with a passion for youth engagement, political awareness and expanding the reach of JSA.

National Chief of Staff - Sreya Nalluri

Sreya is a senior at the John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas. She can’t wait to serve as the National Chief of Staff this year. Sreya has been involved in JSA since the 9th grade, and she has served as the Director of Special Activities and the Director of Fundraising for the Texas State in the past few years. In addition, she has attended the JSA Texas Summer Institute for Politics and Leadership, JSA Georgetown Summer School, and the Montezuma Leadership Summit in 2016. FullSizeRender.jpg

If you asked Sreya what she loved about JSA, her answer would always include something about the ability the organization has to inspire and empower each and every one of its delegates to make an impact on the world around them. She’d also probably bring up the life-long friendships and forever expanding network it offers to so many passionate, dedicated young students.

In her free time, Sreya enjoys singing, being involved in social activism, eating ice cream, playing sports to burn off the ice cream, and binge-watching pretty much every popular TV show you can imagine. She’s so beyond excited to serve and work with the JSAers of the 2017-2018 school year!

National Director of Activism - Shirley Wu

Shirley is a senior at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Illinois. Since joining JSA her sophomore year, she has fallen in love with the atmosphere of conventions, how eloquently everyone speaks, not to mention the people themselves. Previously, she has served as an Activism Agent and the Director of Activism on the Midwest Cabinet. This year, she also has the honor of being the Chapter President of her school’s JSA chapter. Shirley is eager to help promote the involvement of youth in politics and current affairs via her new role as the National Director of Activism. Topics she is most passionate about include healthcare, education, and equal rights.

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Outside of JSA, Shirley spends her time competing with peers in BPA, a club in which she co-leads at her school. Her favorite pastime is lazing around at home. That is until her friends finally drag her out. She is grateful for this opportunity on National Cabinet and cannot wait for all that is in store this year.

National Director of Fight Apathy - Gabriel Avalos

Gabriel Avalos is a senior at Whitney High School in Cerritos, California and is extremely excited to serve on National Cabinet as the Director of Fight Apathy. He joined JSA during his sophomore year would later serve as the SoCal Director of Expansion where he had the pleasure of introducing JSA to new schools around the state. He is now eager to engage the most people possible as they get involved in political discussions and is looking forward to sparking interest in issues that deal with social justice.

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Gabriel also is involved with his school’s Mock Trial team, is the Secretary General of his school’s Model United Nations, and is the founder of the Association of Latin American Students at Whitney. When not doing something related to JSA or any of the things mentioned above, Gabriel is most likely listening to music. Besides talking about his passion for Kanye West, Gabriel loves talking about all kinds of music with friends and anyone willing to. There is a lot that he is looking forward to in the coming year and he knows that Fight Apathy will play a big role in what will make next year great!

National Director of Debate - Ambika Sinha

Ambika Sinha is a rising senior and Chapter President at Marlboro High School in Central New Jersey. Ambika has been involved in helping JSA grow since 2014, but this year she plans to shape the junior state in ways unimaginable. With a pure passion for all things political, JSA has served as a breeding ground for enhanced engagement and education. At JSA events, you will see Ambika striking up conversations with experienced and inexperienced debaters about a myriad of topics. In attending events such as the Montezuma Leadership Conference and the New Jersey Institute of Leadership and Politics while serving as the New Jersey Region Mayor, Ambika has met JSAers of every creed and loves to get to know more about how JSA connects us all. With an immutable passion and ambition for JSA, Ambika plans to work diligently through the course of this year as the National Director of Debate.

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Outside of JSA, Ambika loves listening to artists such as The Beatles and The Weeknd. But do not be fooled, as she is secretly an admirer of old American history and breathes every word of the Federalist Papers. Feel free to reach out to her about anything!

National Director of Fundraising - Gamin Kim

Gamin Kim is a senior at West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch, California. She joined the Junior State of America towards the end of her freshman year and has since been enamored with the organization due the passion, engagement, and political involvement it brings out of students. Gamin has previously served in the Southern California State Cabinet as the Director of Assembly Outreach and has also studied International Relations at JSA Summer School at Georgetown University. As the National Director of Fundraising this year, she is excited to lead the Junior State and accomplish various fundraising initiatives. Gamin believes fervently in the significance of fundraising to increase the opportunities this organization provides without any financial challenges imposed on students. She is ecstatic to be working alongside the Council of Governors, the state Directors of Fundraising, and the JSAF this year.

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Outside of JSA, she works on different non-profit organizations and local campaigns. Gamin is the Regional District Director for the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council and contributes to Byline, an online student-run media organization. In school, she is the Opinions Editor of her school newspaper and is involved in Mock Trial, Model United Nations, FBLA, and the Stock Market Club. In her spare time, Gamin can be seen listening to podcasts or reading while drinking a cup of coffee.

National Director of Overseas Outreach – Phoenix Berman

Phoenix currently holds the rank of Cadet S-1 Major with the Army JROTC and is a Senior at the Sarasota Military Academy (SMA). Phoenix stumbled upon JSA as a Sophomore and instantly knew that creating a chapter on her high school’s campus would change the face of her Academy forever. Phoenix has served in multiple positions of leadership within the Junior State of America, but most notably as the Southeast’s Undersecretary of Chapter Affairs and as her chapter’s President.  Phoenix is extremely passionate about international relations, and she can’t wait to serve as the national representative for JSA’s chapters in the various U.S. territories.

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Outside of JSA, Phoenix is heavily engaged in politics and government. She has had the opportunity serve as the National Vice Chair and former FL Director of Lobbying for Youth for National Change (YNC), as well as presently interning with her Congressman. In addition, she has had the unique diplomatic opportunity to serve as one of 6 United States student ambassadors to Israel last year. As a result, Phoenix has met with her Congressman, U.S. Senators, foreign ambassadors, and members of the Israeli government on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of the U.S-Israel relationship and lobby on crucial pieces of legislation regarding this unique alliance between the two nations. Phoenix has witnessed the immense power, strength, and hope that every one of her fellow members has exhibited through her time in JSA to institute change and act on the specific causes they believe in. Phoenix is honored to serve nationally for JSA and promote its mission overseas.

National Director of Public Relations - Akshara Majjiga

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Akshara Majjiga is a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA. She has been involved in JSA since her sophomore year and served as the NorCal Director of Publicity during the 2016-2017 school year. This year, as National Director of Public Relations, Akshara hopes to spread her passion for JSA and help make JSA more of a household name.

Aside from politics, Akshara is interested in journalism, serving on her school’s magazine staff as a managing editor. She also enjoys distance running as a member of her school’s Cross Country and Track teams. Akshara is looking forward to a successful year and is excited to work with the Council of Governors and her fellow members of National Cabinet to further youth involvement in politics.

National Director of Summer School – Maria Gigante

 

Maria Gigante is a senior at Secaucus High School in Secaucus, New Jersey. She joined JSA in her freshman year of high school and has served as the NJR Director of Public Relations and her chapter’s Board of Education Liaison, Secretary, and Treasurer. Last summer she attended Georgetown University JSA Summer School and studied Constitutional Law and returned this past summer to study International Relations. This year as National Director of Summer School she hopes to raise the percentage of students at the summer school that are in year round JSA.

Outside of JSA, she is the president of the Foreign Language Honor Society, President of the Science/Environmental club and is involved in many other extra curricular activities and organizations. She believes that this year’s national cabinet can bring JSA to new heights and can’t wait to work with everyone.

National Director of Technology - Henry Williams

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Henry Williams is a senior at The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. As Director of Technology Henry hopes to use new communication and logistics technologies to bring together a national community of chapters and empower every member of JSA to do more in their communities. Henry gravitated towards JSA as a means to empower the youth within the world of policy, politics, and argumentation. He co-founded his school’s JSA Chapter and helped lead them to a dominant first-year performance at Fall State. An avid debater, student government advocate, and Model UN Co-President, Henry knows that speech changes the world and is determined to use his voice in the name of progress.

Beyond JSA, Henry works as CEO at Youth Progress PAC and is NY State Director for Youth for National Change. In addition to his verbal pursuits, he also competes on Masters’ National title-holding robotics team and founded a finalist team for MIT’s Battlecode AI competition. More recently, Henry worked at Albert Einstein College of Medicine to analyze patterns in the gene expression of cancer patients. He is eager to devote himself to this role in order to make JSA better for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Council of Governors Meet in DC

Council of Governors Meet in DC

From May 26-29, the incoming Council of Governors for the 2017-2018 year congregated in Washington, D.C. to meet for the first time and begin setting goals for the upcoming year of the Junior State of America (JSA). The goals focused on convention planning and nationwide attendance, strengthening chapters, Summer programs, and promoting JSA as a household name.

The Council adopted its goals to include all states, synthesizing the various successes of each individual state. Colin Jensen, Chair of the Council and Governor of the Midwest State said, “With so many different ideologies that all have reigned successfully in respective states, it is insightful to see the multitude of ideas we have generated to create effective strategies that can be implemented nationwide to positively benefit JSA.”

 One of the first discussions in which the Council engaged allowed them to converse with Ken White, the chief executive officer of JSA, about the values for which JSA stands. The JSA Values are defined as: leadership, empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and responsibility.  The Council and White discussed the implementation of these ideals within the chapters and among individual statesmen of JSA. In addition, the Council received an overview of the appropriate use of social media given its continually expanding reach, as well as how to effectively use it for publicity and outreach. Mid-Atlantic Governor Ariel Rakovitsky noted that it is “absolutely critical we put our best foot forward to represent who we are as an organization.”

One of the newest activities the Council participated in was a leadership activity that brought insight on how each governor can use their attributes to benefit the Council, and additionally, set goals as a team. As in previous years, the Council structured their goals as S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound. Based on these guidelines, the Council focused mostly on increasing attendance to JSA summer programs, surpassing 2016 fundraising totals, launching a new national activism initiative, and brainstorming the process of increasing chapters nationwide.

One of the largest developments of the weekend was brainstorming a new national activism initiative, deemed the Statesmen Salute. The Statesmen Salute would be a nationwide effort to honor veterans, as many of the JSA States’ annual Fall State conventions occur near Veterans Day. The initiative would include sending handwritten letters of support to veterans around the country.

In general, the Council worked on figuring out logistics to maximize the participation rate for activism initiatives, both traditional and new. Specifically, the Council discussed setting a benchmark for participation in Fight Apathy, the current national initiative in place. The Council wants at least 50 percent of all chapters nationwide to participate. Moreover, the Council hopes to emphasize voter registration nationwide to assert and support youth political involvement.

The meeting also included reorganizing and creating a more user-friendly website for both the national and state pages. Additionally, the Council discussed a vision of creating a dependency on the websites for publicizing large events, debate signups, and other announcements. Along with other ways to update delegates, the Council is focusing heavily on expansion throughout all the states to increase not only attendance at JSA Summer School but also the number of chapters nationwide and their retention rate.

The weekend also included a decision about the national themes for both Fall State 2017 and Spring State 2018. The Council decided on Our Nation, Our Values for Fall State and Charting our Future. Finding Our Voice. for Spring State. With these two themes, the Council will begin creating debates and initiatives to create a national impact. Next, the Council is planning for the Montezuma Leadership Summit, scheduled for June 26-29, and is also preparing to reconvene in August to create more quantitative goals for the upcoming year. Overall, the Council of Governors had a productive weekend and is very confident in leading a strong 2017-2018 year for JSA.

 

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BURROUGHS HIGH SCHOOL NAMED 2017 NATIONAL CIVIC IMPACT AWARD WINNER

BURROUGHS HIGH SCHOOL NAMED 2017 NATIONAL CIVIC IMPACT AWARD WINNER

John Burroughs High School in Southern California has been named the 2016-2017 National Civic Impact Award winner.  The Chapter, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, has been active in its Los Angeles County community raising awareness about issues like children’s cancer, volunteering for local and state campaigns and promoting the importance of the youth vote.

Burroughs JSA Chapter leadership in their application essay noted that the Chapter is committed to “dissuading the the sort of political apathy that is pervasive among their generation.” As part of its efforts, the Chapter hosted the California Secretary of State at a school-wide assembly and also invited and welcomed several local officials as guest speakers at its weekly JSA club meetings.

“Burroughs JSA is a collective of exceptionally talented and passionate students who have dedicated their efforts to promoting youth involvement in politics and activism in phenomenal ways this year,” the essay noted.

This year alone the Chapter raised more than $2,000 for children with cancer to have summer camp experiences and collected canned food for the local temporary aid center. As the 2016-2017 National Civic Impact Award winner, Burroughs High School will receive a $2,000 grant to continue their civic engagement effort, a $500 grant for their Teacher Advisor and an engraved plaque.

 
Burroughs HS Teacher Advisor David Knatcal and Chapter President Luluea Dubretsion

Burroughs HS Teacher Advisor David Knatcal and Chapter President Luluea Dubretsion

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2017 Chapters of the Year and Statespersons Selected

2017 Chapters of the Year and Statespersons Selected

 

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JSA has named the top Chapters from each of its 10 states at the conclusion of Spring States. Nominated Chapters made a presentation to a judging panel that demonstrated how the Chapter successfully engaged its student body in political awareness, its record of community service, and advocating for change with local elected officials such as the school board or city council. Chapters also had to show how chapter members are actively involved in leadership roles on the regional and national level of JSA.

Judges included high school teachers who serve as JSA chapter advisors, and the decision was based on the chapter’s educational programming and civic involvement throughout the year.  The ten Chapters will now compete against for the National Civic Impact Award, which will be presented in May.

In addition, states voted for their Statespersons of the Year. These are students who have served as mentors for other students, demonstrated values of responsibility, accountability, and leadership. The award is given to a non-elected member of the state.

This year’s Chapters of the Year and Statespersons of the Year are:

Arizona

Kofa High School – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Solomon Jones – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Northern California

Alameda High School – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Talia Soglin – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Northeast

Cheshire High School – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Karl Meakin – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Mid-Atlantic

Bergen County Academies – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Jackie Sun – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Midwest

District 204 – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Eily Brady – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Ohio River Valley
Cristo Rey Columbus – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Jordan Parker – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Pacific Northwest

Skyline High School – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Sean Bleyle – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Southern California

John Burroughs High School – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Lulea Dubretsion – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

Texas

Saint Mary’s Hall – 2017 Chapter of the Year

Elizabeth Contreras – 2017 Statesperson of the Year

 

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Fall State Pricing Guide

Pricing package details for all Fall State conventions are listed below.  Note that these prices apply only to chapters that register online using MyJSA. The paper registration fee is an additional $10 per student.  There is also a late fee of $15 per person for chapters that do not complete their registration by the registration deadline.

Fall State Pricing Package Details 2017

CONVENTIONEARLY REGISTRATION PRICESREGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Southern California
(Los Angeles)
Oct. 28 - 29, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Southeast
Fort Lauderdale Marriott North
Oct. 28 - 29, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Northern California
Santa Clara Marriott
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Ohio River Valley
Sheraton Columbus
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Pacific Northwest
Doubletree Seattle Hotel Airport
Nov. 11 - 12, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Mid-Atlantic
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Southern California
(Orange County)
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Texas
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Nov. 18 - 19, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Midwest
Madison Concourse Hotel
Dec. 2 - 3, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Arizona
Tucson Marriott University Park
Dec. 9 - 10, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Northeast
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Dec. 9 - 10, 2017
Early Bird Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA
Standard Registration Period: TBA

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: TBA
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: TBA

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: TBA
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: TBA


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