JSA’s unique, time-tested method puts students in charge of their own experiences, allowing them to explore how to make their voices and actions matter. Through this approach, JSA has prepared more than 500,000 young people for thoughtful leadership in every sector of society.
Alumni and current students agree: this community of leaders has a lasting impact on their ability to address complex issues and have vital but difficult conversations across diverse viewpoints. These skills benefit not only individual students and alumni, but also the organizations they lead, the communities they inhabit and society overall.
Hear from current students about how JSA has impacted them.
The Junior Statesmen Foundation is pleased to announce and welcome our three new members to the Board of Trustees, including a JSA summer school alumni and a former JSA Governor. The Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor of the Junior State of America, a nonprofit founded in 1934 that provides civic engagement and leadership programming for high school youth across the country. Joining our Trustees are Scott Bekemeyer, Karyn Dest Harrington and Jennifer Bunn Hayden. Together, they bring a wealth of experience in law, management and policy, and represent backgrounds with experience from across the country.
Scott Bekemeyer is the Chairman of PRE Diversified Holdings, an investment company which acquires and operates specialty manufacturing companies. Scott holds an A.B. and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University. Scott’s prior experience includes being Vice President of Business Development at ZipRealty and Co-Founder of Sierra Expressway, a commuter airline. Scott loves to travel and he is a former JSF trustee.
Karyn Dest Harrington is Vice President for Strategic Communications at Coca-Cola North America. Karyn began her career as a TV reporter in both Missouri and Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and dual M.B.A. degrees from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada. She also participated in the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to various SoCal JSA roles, Karyn is an alum from Georgetown Summer School 1995, Yale 1996, and was a resident advisor for two summers at the Georgetown Summer School.
Jennifer Bunn Hayden is a litigation attorney at Hueston Hennigan LLP. Jennifer began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Josephine Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Prior to law school, she was a Teach for America Corps Member in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she taught fifth grade. She holds a B.S. from the Wharton School and a B.A. from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Jennifer was Governor of the SoCal State and is an alum of Stanford Summer School 2000.
At Southern California JSA Fall State in Los Angeles, SoCal JSA was proud to introduce Spanish-language debates to the Junior State. A chapter presidents suggested the idea to the SoCal JSA’s Debate Department and they knew it was an important debate to have. Students from different schools in Southern California debated and discussed the effects of gentrification on urban communities. Over 130 high school students attended, and the post-convention feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“We’re so thankful to everyone who participated in or otherwise contributed to the Spanish debate, and we look forward to continuing to hold them at future conventions!” says Patrick Aimone ’18, SoCal JSA Director of Debate.
To Ana Delgado ’17, Chapter President of Carpinteria High School, this debate had a personal meaning to her.
“Like many other students, English was not my first language. Growing up, I remember finding going back and forth between a Spanish-speaking household and an English-speaking school system difficult and confusing. I would occasionally speak Spanish to other Spanish-speaking peers, and being a part of a predominantly Hispanic school district, I didn’t see a problem with this. That is, until I was yelled at by a substitute teacher for translating English instructions to a student who only spoke Spanish. Being told “the classroom has no room for Spanish” and “we speak English here” left me scared. I stopped speaking Spanish in both the classroom and home. Since then, I have realized there is nothing wrong with embracing my two languages, and today I am proudly bilingual. When SoCal JSA held their first-ever Spanish debate– the whole thing was in Spanish! During the debate I felt empowered and reassured that Spanish does not disturb the learning environment. It isn’t a “handicap”. This Spanish debate opened a new window in which students, like myself, could express themselves. I look forward to more Spanish debates for the conventions to come.”
In the wake of this election, I return to what drives me most days, and that is: How can I change things for the better, right here, right now? Whose life can I improve today? How can I make the city I live in safer today? What can I do to improve the education system and education outcomes for the people in my city today?
It is the TODAY part that motivates me, because I know that each of us can in fact make a difference every day. We don’t need to wait for an election. We shouldn’t wait until we retire or have more time, or finish X or Y. We should do what we can now, today.
There are many organizations that deserve our attention, our energy and our financial support. First among them for me is the Junior State of America (JSA). I am convinced that a student-run organization focused on civil discourse and civic engagement is exactly what our nation needs…today and for years to come.
I watch our incredible JSA students, more than 10,000 of them across the country, grapple with challenging political questions with a grace and dignity few grown ups managed to muster during this political campaign. I find myself in awe of the sophistication of JSA student discourse, and the near boundless empathy they show for their fellow students, regardless of political, religious or ethnic background.
Please help us reach more young leaders with JSA’s unique student-led, student-run programs. I am focused on what I can do to support civic education and the rising generation of leaders TODAY. I hope you’ll join me.
Rachel Kaganoff Stern President, The Junior Statesmen Foundation
As people across the country headed to the polls on November 8, 2016, JSAers made their voices heard by voting in a virtual election conducted on our app. Check out what tomorrow’s leaders had to say – not only on the candidates for president but on congressional races and ballot measures as well!
These results offer a glimpse at the priorities of the next generation and the representatives that speak to them and therefore offers telling perspective on the political future of America. The students learned the difficulty of making decisions that could change the course of a nation while also developing an understanding of the importance of voting to our American Democracy. They were also given the opportunity to share their opinion and learn from others by posting on an activity feed that included candidate endorsements, pictures of mock elections at schools, and real-time election updates.
Mauricio Macias, a Senior at Cibola High School in Yuma, Arizona explained the feeling of empowerment he experienced through the online election.“Many high school students don’t have the ability to vote because of age restriction but JSA again gives them an opportunity to express the voice. Being able to vote; even though it wasn’t an official ballot, gave me the opportunity to express my voice and participate in a democratic process that wouldn’t of bee provided otherwise. JSA does this everyday for thousands of high school students and i’m privileged to be be given this opportunity.”
National Headquarters in California
111 Anza Blvd., Suite 109, Burlingame, CA 94010
Washington, D.C. Office
2001 S Street NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20009
The mission of the Junior State of America and the Junior Statesmen Foundation is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.
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 2016
EARLY REGISTRATION PRICES
REGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Oct. 29 - 30, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 12 – Sept. 25