Civics Institute Micronesia

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

Group of JSA high school students smiling with their certificates of completion.
  • Date

    June - July
  • Duration

    1 Week
  • Location

    Northern Marianas College
  • Cost

Applications for the 2023 program cohort are now closed.

Junior State of America’s Civics Institute Micronesia 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.

The Civics Institute Micronesia program is specifically for students who are on-island the summer of 2023.

The 2023 course will be on media and democracy. In addition to the primary course, all students will take a supplementary course: Argumentation and Use of Evidence.

Students will learn what "the media" and democracy are and how their dynamic impacts society. The class will examine real-world examples of media representations, production, and political communication in the Pacific Islands and the United States. Students will be able to analyze various forms of storytelling and meaning-making across print, broadcast, and digital media platforms. The class will offer a comprehensive look at the relationship between the media and politics in addition to the role of the First Amendment and journalism as the fourth estate.

Who Should Attend?

The material for the Civics Institute Micronesia is designed for high school students in 9th-11th grade.

What Do I Need to Apply?
  • Basic information: e-mail address, full name, residence
  • Recommendation: the e-mail address of one non-family adult who can speak to your character and work ethic. This could be a teacher, mentor, coach, etc.
  • Short Essay: about 250-500 words on any political topic you are passionate about
  • Transcript: optional

2023 Civics Institute Micronesia

Meet the Instructor: Thomas Mangloña II

Thomas Mangloña

This class is taught by journalist Thomas Mangloña II, who is a Chamorro from Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands. He is an alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley, where he obtained a B.A. in Media Studies as a Gates Millenium Scholar, and graduated with an M.A. in Journalism from Stanford University, where he was a Harry S. Truman Scholar. He is currently the Chief Regional Correspondent for KUAM News based in Saipan. He attended JSA Stanford Summer School in 2014 and was a Resident Advisor for the same program in 2017 and 2018.

Thank You to Our Partner
Northern Marianas College

Northern Marianas College (NMC) is a public land grant institution in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and is accredited by the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association for Schools and Colleges. Located atop As Terlaje Hill, NMC’s main campus overlooks the beautiful Saipan Lagoon and is home to more than 1,400 students enrolled in a diverse set of credit programs that lead to an associate or bachelor’s degree. NMC first opened its doors in 1981 and has remained focused on ensuring student success and meeting the higher education and vocational training needs of the CNMI’s three main islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The College has developed comprehensive academic programs and services that address the social, cultural, and economic development needs of its island community, as well as contributing to the broader needs of Micronesia.

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 Institute Micronesia 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