Name: Soham G.
High School: New Albany High School
Current JSA Position: JSA Ohio River Valley (ORV) Governor and Secretary of Council of Governors
Other JSA Positions You've Held: ORV Convention Coordinator, ORV Convention Specialist, New Albany Director of Activism, Winter Congress Equity Council, Winter Congress Chair
What motivated you to run for the position of governor, and what goals do you hope to achieve during your term?
My first experience in JSA was hearing from governor and lieutenant governor candidates about their platform and why they cared about JSA—this moment sparked my interest to join the cabinet, starting as a specialist and eventually becoming a director. In December, I realized that my journey in JSA was far from over; I could create an inclusive JSA environment for my delegates as governor, both at the state and national levels. I ran on the slogan "Engage, Empower, Enhance" because, as governor, I know I can engage our delegates at conventions, empower them to make a difference and enhance the experience that JSA provides. As Ohio River Valley (ORV) governor, I aim to increase inter-chapter connection, activism opportunities, and our expansion rate. I also want to elevate our fundraising methods right now, removing the cost barriers of JSA so that all of our delegates can attend accessible conventions. Furthermore, I want to expand our state cabinet, making each department more efficient and effective.
As a member of the Council of Governors (CoG), how do you envision contributing to the growth and development of JSA on a national level?
As a member of CoG, I plan to work with other Governors to improve many different parts of JSA. Similar to how I hope to increase inter-chapter connections in the ORV, I aim to increase interstate connections through joint conventions, events, and other initiatives. Furthermore, I can work with CoG to enhance our expansion and fundraising efforts nationwide, which could have been a stronger point in previous years. I also envision bringing the National Cabinet closer to CoG - these two national entities must work together to maximize our progress. Finally, as secretary of CoG, I can facilitate and organize our work and discussions to ensure we are making strides efficiently.
What do you wish every student knew about JSA that would encourage them to get involved?
When starting JSA, I thought most students only cared about debate and becoming president one day. However, after my first convention, I realized that many of these students were like me: they strived to be civically engaged while connecting with others and having a good time. JSA is formal, but it isn't uptight. We encourage discussion, friendship, and, most importantly, community. We're all in it together; I've found some of my closest friends in JSA, and new delegates can, too.
What extracurriculars or hobbies are you involved in outside of JSA?
I play basketball for my school and am a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Moreover, I am involved in various service clubs such as DublinTOP Inc., a nonprofit offering tennis and tutoring clinics, and the National Honor Society. I'm also an avid Weeknd listener.