JSA Students Vie for Lt Gov Position

LTG candidates

As the nation's largest student-run organization, the Junior State of America supports a leadership model that is patterned off the U.S. democratic system. This includes student elected governors and lieutenant governors.

Below are bios of the 2018-2019 candidates vying for lieutenant governor in JSA states.


Taha Ben Abdallah

Hello, fellow Statesmen! My name is Taha Ben Abdallah and I'm running for JSA Arizona LTG! I was introduced to JSA in March of my freshman year, one month before Spring Congress 2016. After attending, I felt such a passion for JSA that I became my chapter's Secretary, followed by the Chapter President. As I became more involved in the statewide process of JSA, I decided to interview for Cabinet and was chosen as the JSAZ Director of Activism. I have such an indescribable passion for JSA and it's my #1 priority for everyone to be able to experience the same passion I do. That's why I'm running for Lieutenant Governor.

I have ambitions to do all that I can for my State, and under my leadership, I've guaranteed to listen to every single concern given by my Statespeople. Because that’s what JSA has done for me. It represented me. And I will represent all. Thank you!

Connect with Taha

Angela Nachampassak

Greetings JSA statesmen! I am Angela Nachampassak and I currently serve as JSAZ’s Director of Summer School. I have been in JSA since my freshman year and have loved it since then. Ever since I was a child, my favorite cartoons to watch were of superheroes and whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say a superhero because I wanted to protect the world from chaos like they did. Unfortunately, growing up, I learned that becoming a vigilante is illegal and I, of course, had to look for a different career path. Now, I wish to become some type of diplomat traveling to different countries personally changing the lives of the people affected by the corruption.

Public relations has always been a passion near and dear to my heart which is the reason why I joined JSA in the first place, but now my involvement in JSA means so much more to me than simply being well versed in modern politics. JSA is where I have met some of my closest friends, experienced new adventures, and dealt with one of the hardest moments of my life. JSA has molded me into the person I am today, and for that I can never thank this amazing organization enough for that. That is why I'm running to be your next JSAZ Lieutenant Governor: to continue helping JSA change the lives of others and creating them a home within JSA. JSAZ, I would be incredibly honored if you allow me to serve as your Lieutenant Governor, giving me the opportunity to lead such a powerful intellectual group who are capable of making the change for tomorrow.

Connect with Angela

Joshua Valenzuela

Joshua Valenzuela joined the Rincon-University High School JSA his Sophomore year and immediately fell in love with it. Joshua has been very outspoken and active in his first year, has spoken multiple times at Fall State as well as writing and presenting a bill for Spring Congress. Back home he works as a CIA Agent and Fundraising agent and has worked hard to keep his chapters up to date and ready to thrive on the JSAZ mainstage and back at home.

Joshua Valenzuela believes that by focusing on sustainable growth and expansion throughout Arizona, JSA can thrive. Joshua Valenzuela is running for LTG so that JSA can continue spreading its message throughout Arizona and give every student a chance to be active and outspoken as to foster JSA Arizona so it can grow to its fullest potential as a force to be reckoned with on the national level that truly embodies the spirit and goals of the Junior State of America.”

Connect with Joshua


Cecelia Gao

At the start of her freshman year, Ceci stumbled into her first JSA meeting without an interest in politics nor an ability to give a coherent speech. She'd had no expectation that JSA and the people in the organization would so significantly impact her life. However, she began her work on Cabinet as a Debate Agent last year and is undeniably thrilled to be a member of the same department this year as the Midwest Director of Debate. A junior at Vernon Hills High School, Ceci also serves as the Vernon Hills Vice President. When Ceci is not consumed with JSA work and events, she can be found playing flute both as a solo musician and in various ensembles, participating in her school's WYSE team, and avoiding foods that contain lactose. She enjoys listening to classical and alternative music (sometimes simultaneously), attempting to broaden her literary horizons, and sporadically making large amounts of food for anyone other than herself.

Ceci is currently running to be Midwest JSA's next Lieutenant Governor because she believes she can capitalize on students' JSA experience through inclusion, transparency, and maximizing their potential. To her, this is the best way for her to attempt reciprocating all of the opportunities and growth that Midwest JSA has offered her. You can contact her at (847) 340-1805, reach out to her via Facebook Messenger, or email her at cgao@midwest.jsa.org.

Connect with Cecelia


Neha Nandiwada

Hi, everyone! I am Neha Nandiwada from the Biotech chapter, and I'm running to be your next LTG. I have a vivid recollection of my first JSA convention two years ago: Winter Congress. The intellectual capacity of the students was overwhelming, to say the least, and I felt embarrassingly uninformed in comparison. It took me two days to muster the courage to speak: I asked my first question. I don't remember what it was, but the way it was received and respected sparked my interest in JSA. Just a year later, I was chairing at Winter Congress, doing exactly the kind of thing I used to have nightmares about. I grew comfortable speaking, debating, and even singing for large crowds. For many of you, I know that in some way, my story is also yours.

We in JSA are the people who enact change without indulging in petty arguments. We are the people who dance together to our favorite songs despite differences in our opinions. As your LTG, I will do my best to promote these values. Having been exposed to the inner workings of JSA, I recognize its strengths as well as its shortcomings. My platform articulates what changes (#ChoiceForChange) are needed to address them. While I cannot promise to completely implement each initiative next year, I am sure that for what remains, we can at the least lay the groundwork for the next generation of JSA leadership.

Connect with Neha

  • Facebook & Instagram: @neha4ltg

Talia Fiester

Hey MAS! My name is Talia Fiester and I’m running to be the next MAS Lieutenant Governor. As LtG, I will make inclusivity my top priority. I will bring more voices to the table, expand access to JSA leadership, and promote diverse ways of thinking. We will be #OpeningDoorsExpandingPerspectives.

Some of the initiatives I’m most excited about include: campaign finance reform, an Activism Room at conventions, and Day-in-the-Life summer school promotion videos.

My platform does not make a thousand promises no one could keep but commits to a doable agenda that we can realistically accomplish together in my one-year term.

If you want a candidate who has a lengthy track record of identifying changes that need to be made and then making those changes, someone who will put JSA above every other activity of the senior year, and who will accomplish everything she sets out to do, I’m the candidate you should support for LtG.

Connect with Talia

  • Facebook: Talia Fiester for MAS Lieutenant Governor
  • Instagram: @talia4ltg
  • Website: talia4ltg.weebly.com


Paul Johnson

My name is Paul Johnson, and I've been involved in JSA since the first meeting of my freshman year. I really loved the sense of community I got from all the great people I met at conventions and chapter meetings. The friends I made really encouraged me to pursue leadership positions in my chapter to take an active role in helping out. That led me to become my chapter's secretary, where I learned the value of good communication. I was then further encouraged and inspired to attend the Montezuma Leadership Summit and apply to become one of the ECR directors of debate. I've had a lot of fun taking an active role in helping JSA succeed. That's why I am running for NES Lt. governor; I love everything that JSA has to offer and I want to continue helping the organization succeed!

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Sophie McCabe

My name is Sophie McCabe, and I am a junior at Staples High School in Westport, CT. I enjoy singing in my school’s honors choir, the Orphenians, riding horses, and most of all, being a member of the NES JSA.

I first joined JSA when I was a freshman in high school. At my first convention, I fell in love with the organization. Since that moment, I have made it my mission to help every JSAer fall in love with our great organization the same way I did. It is why I became Vice President of the Staples HS chapter my sophomore year, it is why I serve as the current NES Director of Summer School Promotion, and, above all, it is why I am running to be your next LTG.

Connect with Sophie

Northern California

Helena Bartkowski

My favorite color is green, I have two middle names (one of them is Elfin), and I absolutely love JSA. I first joined JSA in my freshman year. Our school had dozens of clubs to choose from, so I walked into a room that looked promising. Our chapter president, Denny Baek, was in the middle of a heated debate regarding pants or no pants. Watching that debate and all the debates that followed, I was instantly smitten. There was so much energy, enthusiasm, and passion evident in every member of the club. I attended every convention that year, ran for a position in my chapter cabinet, attended every convention the next year, and applied for NorCal cabinet at the end of my sophomore year.

Everyone I met in my chapter and at the conventions was so incredibly driven, intelligent, friendly, and kind, that I couldn't stay away from anything JSA related. I've spent hours on phone calls, conference calls, and Google Hangout Sessions, planning all things JSA-related. In doing so, I've collected a folder of new ideas and policy I want to implement into next year's agenda. There are so many things I adore about JSA, and a few improvements I'd like to add to increase the efficacy of the most important facets of JSA, such as communication and interdepartmental structure. I want nothing more than to have the opportunity to serve the state and the people of NorCal as best I can, and as Lieutenant Governor, I can do that.

Connect with Helena

Griffin Epstein

My name is Griffin Epstein and I am running to be NorCal JSA Lieutenant Governor. Linked below is a headshot of myself. Here is my short bio:

Griffin Epstein is a Junior at Petaluma High School and running to be NorCal JSA Lieutenant Governor. Griffin founded his chapter after years of dormancy and has been co-chapter president for the past two years. Last year at Spring State he was elected GCR Mayor. Over the last two years, he has worked hard to expand and strengthen his chapter and region. Griffin decided to broaden his horizons and make a larger positive impact on JSA by running for LTG. He believes he will be able to expand and strengthen communication and connection across the state. Griffin would be honored to be elected NorCal JSA LTG.

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Anna Fehr

My name is Anna Fehr, I'm an East Bay Region Senator and Piedmont High Chapter President. I attended my first convention at the end of my freshman year, at the urging of my friend Kate Gross-Whitaker. I didn't know anyone else in my chapter well, but soon they became some of my best friends. For the next year or so, I attended conventions but I didn't really understand what JSA was about. Last February, I attended the New Leaders conference, developed an understanding of the processes and communities that make up JSA, and decided to run for Senate. I've been given the opportunity to be part of JSA because of a well-organized chapter, and because of leadership conventions. I decided to run for Lieutenant Governor this year because I love JSA, and because I think it has a long way to go before it fulfills its full potential. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel embraced in JSA no matter how much time they can commit to it and no matter how many resources are available to them. For a more inclusive NorCal State, vote Anna for LTG!

Connect with Anna

Ohio River Valley

Jacob Kravitz

My name is Jacob Kravitz and I’m so excited to be running for the Ohio River Valley Lieutenant Governor. I attend Worthington Kilbourne High School and have been involved in our JSA chapter since its founding. JSA is an amazing place and I want to continue to keep it that way. I’m so excited to be running and can not wait to get out there and meet even more of the ORV. Improving our elections, increasing activism efforts, keeping expansion, as well as fundraising steady, and reinvigorating the Council of Chapter Presidents will keep the ORV amazing. For my contact info, a detailed platform and more check out:

Connect with Jacob

Shahad Salman

I'm Shahad Salman, and I am running to be the next ORV LtG! If the question is why I decided to run, it's simple--the people. At any given point in time--whether the workload as director has been overwhelming or a convention has been especially hectic--I've known that my passion for JSA will be restored fully by the network of apathy fighting, civically engaged, activist promoting, diligently working students that I've had the immense pleasure to be with because of JSA. The atmosphere promoted is one that allows you to engage with the world around you, that encourages you to pay attention is what is happening, that implements YOU have a voice, YOU have the power to make change, YOU can & should be heard--and if JSA can afford me all of these immense pleasures, I feel like it is my duty to repay them by running as LtG; we can continue strengthening, expanding and improving the ORV under my platform. From my first convention as a freshman at Fall State to my utter excitement and joy of being accepted into the family that is cabinet as a midyear applicant, to my duties escalating as Director of the Debate and super cabinet ORV Bill Director, I've immersed myself in this organization and I hope to do so further.

Connect with Shahad

Pacific Northwest

Sarah Huang

Hello! My name is Sarah Huang and I am running to be the Lieutenant Governor of the Pacific Northwest. I am currently the Chapter President of Skyline, one of the biggest chapters in the PNW, and am also the Director of Public Relations. I’ve been a member since my freshman year, however, I got more involved during my sophomore year when was appointed as my chapter’s Director of Publicity, then began attending more chapter cons, and was appointed as a staff photographer. After being inspired at Spring State, as senior after senior declare how much JSA had affected them, I decided that I too wanted to inspire others to the same, or a greater extent. Thank you for a wonderful campaign season so far and I’m excited to get to know everybody better as it continues.

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Ethan Tuttle

Ethan Tuttle initially learned about JSA through his sister, former PNW Director of Fundraising Cameron Tuttle, who he saw a passion for a club that he wanted to experience as well. From the first day of high school on, Ethan had been an active member in JSA. His freshman year he served as a Head Chair at Winter Congress, Sophomore year Ethan ran for GPR Mayor and was a fundraising agent and chapter officer. Junior year Ethan currently is the Assistant Director of Chapter Internal Affairs and a chapter officer.

He has the honor of running for LtG because of the opportunities for personal growth afforded to him by this organization, the experiences he's been taught through this organization, and the personal connections he has made. Ethan's goal if elected is to implement is a pragmatic and tangible platform, which aspires to create the opportunity for the same growth he was allowed during his time so far in JSA. The most significant concept Ethan has learned so far is not only the respect for all other perspectives and ideologies but understanding the validity of his own. The change in personal belief in his self-worth of ideas and that of him as a person has gotten exponentially better since truly getting involved. If elected, Ethan will do everything in his power to give others the same chances that he was given, to allow for the same connections he has made, and to create the environment that he so deeply benefited from. And remember, A vote for Ethan, is a vote for Everyone.

Connect with Ethan

Southern California

Anna Sarukian

Anna Sarukian, a junior from West Ranch, has the absolute honor to be running for Southern California’s Lieutenant Governor. After speaking at her first One Day during freshman year, Anna found a boundless passion for civic engagement along with an affection for an engaged audience. Throughout her tenure as a Stateswoman, she has served as Chapter President of West Ranch as well as a Chapter Coordinator on Cabinet and is now proudly serving as an Angeles Region Senator. She is also a graduate of the JSA Institute on California Leadership and Politics at UC Davis and has attended a multitude of overnight conventions and One Days to date.

Anna is running her Lieutenant Governor campaign based off of the philosophy that, “no one has ever made change by being like everyone else” and strives to bring out every individual’s full capabilities by engaging the entire state to partake in the Senate. She is running because she has encountered an abundance of unbelievable experiences within the Senate and hopes to give back to the Junior State by allowing others to experience all the astonishing endeavors that the Senate has to offer. With that said, Anna is beyond ecstatic to continue representing the voices of all JSAers!

Connect with Anna


Brian Carlos

My name is Brian Carlos and I am a sophomore at MAST Academy in Miami (Key Biscayne), Florida. I am running to be your next Lieutenant Governor of the Southeast region, and I hope to get your vote.

I have a life-long passion for politics and government and have been involved with JSA for many years. I first got involved with JSA the summer before my freshman year in high school. I attended the JSA Summer Program at Princeton University where I took AP US Government and Politics. When I entered high school, I joined our debate team and attended my very first conventions. Then, I ran for Secretary of my debate team and won, where I learned what it took to lead a club. I then returned to JSA’s summer program at Georgetown University, where I took AP Comparative Politics and had an amazing experience. Looking back at my time in JSA, I decided that I wanted to be more involved, so I applied to State Cabinet and became Summer School Director, where I learned firsthand how the cabinet operates and the leadership necessary to execute programs. When the MidSoHo Winter Congress was approaching, I was chosen to be the Co-Director of Summer School for Super Cabinet, which oversaw Winter Congress and ensured its proper implementation. With this expansive experience in JSA, I chose to run for Lieutenant Governor because I believed that I have all the skills required to effectively fulfill the position and lead JSA to further success. I hope you join me and to get your vote.

Connect with Brian

  • Instagram: @briancarlosltg

Savannah Martinez

JSA cabinet member on NHS chapter

Publicity volunteer for MIDSOHIO WINTER CONGRESS

JSA has become a large part of my life and the position of lieutenant governor will aid me in being able to have a larger part of this organization. I will help grow the Southeast into a large loving state of JSA. I got started in JSA the end of my sophomore year of high school by attending my first convention. After spring state of 2017, I realized that JSA was something I truly wanted to be a part of. I have chosen to run for Lt. Governor because I know I can make a difference in this organization.

Expansion will be a very important part of my campaign but I will mainly focus on empowerment. Empowerment of our youth is so important in this time and I feel that growing JSA as a whole while also empowering our veteran members is truly very important. I promise to not only devote my time to this position but to also create a loving and safe environment for everyone in the Southeast state! I ask for your support in this campaign and can’t wait to see you all at Spring State!

Connect with Savannah

  • Instagram: @savannahforsesltg
  • Twitter: @savannahforltg
  • Facebook: Savannah Martinez for JSA Lt. Governor


Mylinh Du

Hi, my name is Mylinh Du and I’m running to be your next Texas JSA Lieutenant Governor! I got my start in JSA freshman year and fell in love with the organization by the end of that year’s Spring State. As a sophomore, I served as the Deputy Director of Logistics where I worked to facilitate conventions and this year I’m serving as the Lieutenant Governor’s Chief of Staff where I work with different departments and cabinet members to ensure all of their needs are met as well as help prepare for and facilitate conventions. I am running to be your next Lieutenant Governor because I feel that my experience, determination, and work ethic make me the best candidate for ensuring Texas JSA stays strong and gets the attention it needs and deserves.

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Alex Nelson-TX

Hey, my name is Alexander Nelson, I am a junior at Lamar HS. I joined JSA because it offers me the ability to speak without fear of retribution. JSA is unique in that it offers every participant the chance to speak up. At my school, JSA was largely dormant when I was a freshman and I got involved by chance of knowing one of the five seniors in the organization. Now three years later I am extremely proud to be involved in JSA and grateful for the opportunities that it has given me and my chapter.

As your LTG I will work to expand JSA to more schools across Texas by working with administration and students alike. I am specifically running for LTG because I believe that this position has the biggest chance to make a change for Texans in and outside of JSA. I am running because I think that Texas JSA is the single best organization for fighting apathy and encouraging activism.

Connect with Alex

  • Instagram: @nelson_for_ltg


April 04, 2018