Stern Civics Immersion Program

A unique summer experience that empowers high school students to take action in response to today’s issues.

Group of high school students smiling and dressed informally, sitting inside for a summer school group democracy program.
  • Date

    In-Person: July 7 - 27, 2023 | Virtual: July 10-28
  • Duration

    3 Weeks
  • Location

    Stanford University | Virtual
  • Cost

    $5,295 | Virtual: TBA (2023 Price $695)
Applications for the 2023 program cohort are now closed.

About the Program

The Stern Civics Immersion Program is a three-week residential summer program, also offered virtually.

Junior State of America’s Civics Immersion Program is designed to engage high school students with the most pressing issues facing our democracy today, challenging them to look beyond differences and focus on solution-oriented action. Participants gain a complete understanding of critical issues directly from the decision-makers who shape public policy and apply lessons learned to generate ideas for direct action in their communities.

Previous courses include Environmental Justice, Global Poverty, Inequality and Justice, and Design Thinking for Community Problem Solving. In addition to the primary course of study each summer, all students will take a supplementary course: Argumentation and Use of Evidence.

Who Should Attend?

The material for the Civics Immersion program is designed for high school students in 9th-12th grade.

2023 Confirmed Speaker (In-Person Program)

Kristin Hansen (Spring 2023) is the Executive Director of Civic Health Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit philanthropy, where she is dedicated to accelerating the efforts of practitioners, creatives, and academics who seek to reduce polarization, foster social cohesion, and improve civil discourse in America's citizenry, politics, and media. Read Kristin's full bio.

Kristin Hansen

2023 Facilitators (Virtual Program)

Todd Green and Homayra Ziad will be facilitating a workshop session on our engagement with government and civil society, how and why we have wanted to take our knowledge of religion into the public square, and some of the challenges and opportunities we have faced. Todd Green is Executive Director of America Indivisible, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to countering racism against Muslims and those perceived as Muslim from Arab, Black, Sikh and South Asian communities. Homayra Ziad is a scholar-activist, educator and writer, Director of the Program in Islamic Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and Board President of the ACLU Maryland.

Todd Green
Homayra Ziad
Homayra Ziad

Key Takeaways
  • Engage with college-level curriculum that interests you
  • Learn how to lead your own activism projects
  • Meet inspiring leaders who are changing their communities
  • Make friends with students who share your interests

Goals & Outcomes

Students who participate in our Civics Immersion program will:


Be better equipped to participate in government at the national, state, and local levels


Be able to lead and participate in civil conversations with people from different backgrounds and perspectives


Learn and demonstrate effective 21st-century leadership skills


Be ready to address current and future political, economic, and social issues facing the world


Be better suited to succeed in secondary and post-secondary education environments


Develop and hone essential critical thinking skills

Stern Civics Immersion In-Person Courses

  • Campaigns & Elections: The Politics of Change in America facilitated by: David McCuan
  • Global Poverty, Inequality, & Justice facilitated by: Azamat Sakiev
  • Global Conflict facilitated by: Stephen Magu
  • Democracy & Social Media facilitated by: Andrea McClanahan
  • Argumentation & Use of Evidence facilitated by: Thomas Arndt

Stern Civics Immersion Virtual Program

Classes will be held daily from 9am - 12pm PT, Monday - Friday July 6 - July 22, 2022.

  • Design Thinking for Community Problem Solving facilitated by: Casey Jagusch
  • I learned so much about environmental justice! If I had to pick one thing that was reinforced throughout this program it would be the idea that all movements are interconnected and intersect.

  • I joined the Civics Immersion Program to gain some knowledge and awareness about modern-day issues. I also wanted to have a network of students and teachers that I could reach out to whenever I needed help.


Have questions?

How do I apply to JSA Summer Programs?

Do I need to be a member of JSA to attend Summer Experiences?

Are transcripts or letters of recommendation required for Summer Programs?

What is included in my tuition?

Are scholarships available for Summer Experiences?

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend in-person events?

How can I contact someone with questions?

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