Posted on September 15, 2016.
For youth from the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, climate change is not theoretical; it is a reality. This summer we launched the JSA Global Climate Change Project to empower our students from American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to affect change in their communities. Thanks to the generous support from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, 66 students from these regions participated in JSA summer programs in June and July of 2016. The Global Climate Change Project offered a channel to apply the skills students learned at JSA summer school to real solutions.
Through our program, students learned the latest research about how this global issue impacts their islands. With JSA faculty and staff guidance, they designed strategic year-long projects to engage their communities. Our students cultivated their passion for climate change and felt prepared to return home as advocates. It has been only eight weeks since the end of their summer school sessions, and these amazing students have already progressed with their activism projects.
The feedback we have received on the impact of our program is astounding. Conrad Jr. Timothy, a student from Kosrae in Micronesia said: “It was thanks to the program that each of us can express our ideas proudly and take charge in situations where leaders are needed. An example of this is how I have been forming a group among Kosrae High School’s seniors where we try and get the general public more involved in cleaning our island. We are starting off small by cleaning the school and encouraging the lower grades to participate in our endeavor. Once we get enough recognition for our deeds, we’d be able to clean the streets with the help of multiple organizations in Kosrae. We’re starting to make changes for the better but the Micronesian Activists and I don’t just want to stop there.” We are proud of our students who take on these issues and engage others in their efforts to make a change.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on March 25, 2014.
Today my school fought apathy in a way that I found to be extremely inspiring. I attend Danville High School (DHS) in Danville, Kentucky. Not only is DHS the only active JSA chapter in the state, but we are a small school of no more than 500 people. I am proud to say that we involved at least 400 students today in JSA’s Fight Apathy campaign.
It started out with my manning a table early in the morning. As students began to trickle in, their curiosity got the better of them and they wandered over to my table in the lobby, colorfully decorated with Fight Apathy posters. I encouraged everyone I saw to pick up a sticker and write what they believed in. Soon more members of my club came to help me man the table, and that was certainly a good thing because word of the stickers was spreading. I saw mob mentality working in the best way possible. Students were actively seeking out the Fight Apathy table after seeing their friends with stickers.
My student body is incredibly diverse, and as such so were the answers on the Fight Apathy stickers. I saw everything from “I believe in abolishing factory farming” to “I believe in being a successful teen mom”. Throughout the day I saw something unexpected happen all around me. I was shocked to see some of the people that I had expected to be most apathetic standing out and speaking up for what they believe in- many of them being personal and deeply emotional. At the same time, I saw my student body become proud to wear what they believed in throughout the course of the day. In the morning, people were shy and didn’t want to wear their stickers for fear of judgment from peers, but by the end of the day my classmates wore their sticker with a sense of pride that truly came as a surprise to me.
Hearing the hallways filled with “I believe…” and “Let me explain it to you…!” made me realize the impact that this has on students. The best part was when two people from completely different social groups found themselves with the exact same belief. I firmly believe this exercise brought my student body closer together by exposing how similar many of our beliefs are. This sense of belonging was missing at Danville High School, though we had been striving hard to make it happen. Fight Apathy was exactly what my school needed to encourage students to speak up, break down social barriers, and most importantly, stand up for what they believe in.
Danville High School JSA Vice President
Learn more about the Fight Apathy Campaign at fightapathy.jsa.org.
Posted in News