The Junior Statesmen Foundation sponsors Summer School and shorter Institute programs for exceptional high school students. Each summer nearly 1,000 students converge on the campuses of Princeton, Georgetown, and Stanford to participate in a rigorous academic Summer School focusing on the social sciences and speech communication, in addition to a debate practicum aimed at improving the student’s advocacy skills. Classes are college-level; and offerings range from AP U.S. Government to Political Philosophy on the social science side and from Speech Communication to Public Speaking and the Law on the speech side. Students are taught by college faculty and are fully immersed in the coursework taking classes six days per week. Classes are supplemented by a high-level speaker’s series including elected officials, university professors, journalists, lobbyists, and others.
The Foundation also offers week-long Institutes on Leadership and Politics for students in California, Washington, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Los Angeles, and New Jersey. Focused on state and local politics, students delve into their state’s political challenges and opportunities through a daily speakers’ series, evening debriefings, and hands-on activities. In addition to meeting and questioning leading politicians, students build a strong network of like-minded peers from throughout the country and around the world.
Teachers and administrators play an important role in the success of the Summer School and Institutes. Teachers serve as recommenders and nominators for these programs, and the Admissions Committee places heavy emphasis on the teacher recommendation as an evaluative tool. Additionally, school administrators approve Summer School coursework for high school transfer credit and often guide students through the competitive admissions process.