Ciana Cronin is a senior at University High School in Tucson, Arizona. The summer before her sophomore year, she was offered a full scholarship to the JSAZ Arizona Institute on Leadership and Politics. It was there that she first became introduced to JSA: a community unlike any other she had ever experienced, where freedom of expression and fostering of leadership were not only admired but also sought after. She never looked back. The next year she attended JSAZ Institute again and furthered her passion for JSA by attending Georgetown Summer School. While there, she studied Constitutional Law and met passionate JSAers from all over the nation who inspired her to want to grow and create larger JSA culture in Arizona. That same year she also attended the JSA Montezuma Leadership Summit, Southern California Winter Congress, and held the position of Director of Debate for JSAZ. It was through those experiences that she learned of the complexities of JSA’s cabinet structure and found that her place in JSA was truly at the forefront of leadership. Ciana is known amongst the Arizona JSA-ers as their JSA ‘mom’ and she is proud to be leading Arizona into another year of expansion, progress, and success.
Outside of JSA, Ciana is a working artist who specializes in commissions and henna tattoos. She also works as a waitress, baker, and cater-waiter. When not painting or working, she extends her love for civics and community engagement by acting as an officer in her schools district’s Superintendent Student Advisory Council, an ambassador for her high school, a delegate in her school’s Model United Nations, and an intern for several local congressional and regional campaigns. She is also an alumna of the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Association.
D’Artagnan Hook began his journey in JSA his sophomore year by being, quite literally, dragged into it by a friend. Diving head first into the action, D’Artagnan became Director of Fundraising for JSAZ only 3 months after first joining the club. He quickly realised his love for politics and voicing his opinion, becoming a quintessential part of the Kofa chapter. Even though he was only in JSA for less than a year, he decided to take a leap of faith and run for LtG, focusing his campaign on outreach and making sure every student would be able to attend conventions no matter their financial situation. His goal is to give his all to JSA working tirelessly to ensure every student is able to reach their potential by being apart of something greater than themselves. Outside of JSA, D’Artagnan enjoys YouTube, Magic the Gathering, and arguing about politics. He’s wildly obsessed with aesthetically pleasing pineapples and honey roasted peanuts. Over the course of this year, his main goal is to make sure JSAZ reaches their full potential changing everyone else’s lives the way it changed his.
Chief of Staff
Tatianna Mosqueda joined JSA her junior year of high school. Ever since she joined, she has been highly active in all the activities that are included: debates, conventions, fundraising opportunities, etc. This club ignited a spark in her heart for public speaking and encouraged her to be a great leader. After a year of being an involved member of JSA for Cibola High School’s Chapter, she decided to apply for the prestigious cabinet position, Chief of Staff. She only had one year of experience but within this year she impacted her chapter immensely. She brought in more people to meetings and as the person in charge of the social media committee, she created awareness in her school about JSA overall. She wishes to continue to impact JSAZ while being Chief of Staff for Cabinet and secretary for the Cibola chapter.
Director of Activism
Mauricio Macias joined JSA the summer of his sophomore year of highschool. Initially he joined JSA in hopes of being able to express his political views and debate other high school students. JSA provided him the latter but he also began to observe the behind-the-scenes and workings of JSA. He observed the dedicated people working tenaciously to ensure that every student was given the opportunity to express their political views. Mauricio was dedicated to become a JSA leader, for he wanted the ability to give students that same opportunity. Within his first year of JSA, Mauricio ran for president of the Cibola Chapter and began to apply for a cabinet position. He was successful in both endeavours and is now both the Cibola Chapter President and a Director of Activism. With his new ability to influence the trajectory of JSAZ, Mauricio hopes to inspire other high school students to take the mantle of leadership.
Director of Technology
Musashi Sheppard joined JSA during freshman year of high school. He became very involved in JSA football concessions and has attended all JSAZ conventions so far but one. Although he wasn’t very interested in politics at first, JSA helped him to develop his political opinions, love the subject, and become an outgoing person. He felt obligated to do more, not only for his chapter at Kofa High School, but for JSAZ as well, and became passionate about raising awareness for JSA. This resulted in his running for secretary for his chapter, and Director of Technology for the state. These positions will allow him to raise awareness of JSA through chapter recruitment, in addition to allowing him the opportunity to reform JSAZ’s technology side of things to bring a more informative experience to JSA members and will-be members. He will continue impacting JSA, making it an even better experience for everyone.
Director of Technology
Gabriella Varela is an eccentric senior at Kofa High School. She became involved in JSA her freshman year and quickly became enthralled, rising up the ladder to become President of her chapter. Contrasting her passion for politics, she also enjoys creative outlets of expression through technology like photo and video editing. This and her affinity for social media consumption led to her becoming Director of Technology for JSAZ. Using this power, she strives to inform, engage, and make students more successful through JSA. Outside of JSA, Gabriella is an officer for her schools’ National Honor Society, plays the bass drum and piano, and has for an adoration for dogs.
Marina Martinez joined JSA her sophomore year of high school. Since her first convention, she made politics and public speaking a great part of her life and was so inspired by conventions and the work in her Rincon-University High School chapter that she decided to become a deputy Convention Coordinator her sophomore year, and currently Convention Coordinator. Outside of JSA, Marina works with theater and history, and travels often. JSA went hand in hand with her existing interests, and she wishes to continue to impact JSAZ through her love for learning more about the world and people around her.
Crysta joined JSA at Yuma High her Freshman year in 2013. She has attended every state convention the past 3 years, including many city events involving JSA and politics in general. Crysta has been an officer every in JSA, currently being the Historian. She has a passion for capturing moments and memories, which led to her applying for Convention Photographer for cabinet. Crysta has worked on bringing her chapter closer together, and helped in preparing them for when the Class of 2017 graduates.
Gaby Tumbaga joined the Yuma High School JSA Chapter her freshman year. She is currently starting, not only her senior year, but her fourth year in JSA. Since her first year, she has been extremely involved in her chapter, having been an officer for the past three years. JSA is a huge part of her life, and through JSA has become a better speaker and has improved her skills as a leader. She spent her junior year serving as Vice President of her chapter, and as the Yuma CIA Director on the state level. She is now the CIA Head Director and the Yuma High Chapter President. She spends her off time in the band, a math club, cross country, soccer and softball. She also spends too much time watching netflix, binging out, and never sleeping, so I promise you she is always available for you. Through her leadership, her chapter has had an amazing start, doubling the numbers they ended with last year and participating in several candidates forums, and even hosting their own candidates forum for the local candidates on the Yuma Primary ballot. Gaby Tumbaga loves interacting with everyone JSA, so always feel free to contact her on every form of social media, and her phone/email. She hopes to have a great year in JSAZ, making as much of an impact as she can as she wraps up her senior year.
Tucson CIA Director
Quinn Mark is the CIA Director of Tucson, as well as his chapters’ vice president. Quinn participates in political activities such as phone banking for Pima county democrats, canvassing for the Arizona LD 10 team, voter registration drives, and more. Quinn is also a member of the young republicans, young democrats, and cross country. Quinn joined JSA his freshman year and just fell in love. Since then he has realized the importance of political activism and all its forms. From protesting with Black Lives Matter, to being one the original members of the young republicans, to canvassing for his local school board member, Cam Juarez, Quinn has fell in love with politics because of JSA. He hopes as many people have the same fantastic experience as he did, and truly be the people.
Angel Navarro Carrillo has been in JSA since his second semester of his sophmore year. In joining JSA he was able to go to his first convention, being Spring Congress. There he found a fun, warm place where he can be himself and voice his opinion. By going to this convention, he know that JSA was the club for him. He then went on and made JSA a big part of his junior year, helping his chapter ,Kofa High School, with fundraisers, volunteer work, and other activities. In his next conventions he signed up to be a moderator for multiple debates. When his next spring congress was coming soon he applied to be a Chairman, he got it and was chosen to be Full House Chairman. In making JSA such a big part of his life he was awarded Member of the year for Kofa High School. He now is being more active in JSA by joining cabinet as a cia agent and pursuing some best speaker awards.
Yuma CIA Agent
Dominic Nellesen was first introduced to JSA in his junior year by several of his friends who were members of Kofa chapter. In the following weeks of attending every meeting, participating in volunteer activities, spending time with the wonderful people in his school’s chapter, and becoming the chapter head of expansion, a spark was released that transformed into a roaring blaze of passion for JSA. He went to both conventions his Junior year, and seeing cabinet work and achieve great things made him know that that is what he wanted to do. He applied for Chapter Internal Affairs, and got the position! He hopes to use this positions to the best of his abilities to spread the great things of JSA to each and every corner, nook, and cranny of Arizona.
Yuma CIA Agent
Solomon Jones has had a passion for political science, for most of his life. He was introduced to JSA by his friend, Mauricio Macias. Solomon has been passionately involved, since the moment he experienced what the organization had to offer. He finally had an outfit to express his passion for public policy. JSA was the first time Solomon had the privilege, of experiencing public speaking, And he found that he enjoyed it immensely. During the summer of 2016, Solomon was awarded a scholarship for the experience of a lifetime. He was able to attend Arizona summer institute, in Phoenix, Arizona. There he was given the opportunity to apply for a position in JSAZ Cabinet, one of the best decisions he has made in his life so far. He was given a once in a lifetime opportunity and was appointed as a CIA agent for the Yuma area. He plans to use his position, to strengthen his JSA state, and his community.
Katie Compton is currently a junior at Gila Ridge High School where she serves as chapter president and Director of Expansion for JSAZ. She joined JSA her freshmen year only attending conventions. Eventually she fell in love with everything JSA and ran as her chapter secretary. Katie then applied to be an expansion agent where she helped start 3 chapters. From there she ran for chapter president of GRHS and applied for Director of Expansion. This summer she attended JSAZ Institute at ASU and The Montezuma Summit. Katie has committed her time and efforts to bettering the JSAZ State through activism projects at her school and taking initiative in the expansions department.
Tucson Expansion Director
Enrique Castillon joined JSA in his freshman year of high school. Since the beginning, Enrique was instantly intrigued by the club and immediately adapted the ‘JSA Lifestyle.’ In his first year, Enrique became a key component for the Rincon University High School Chapter; fundraising $3,000 in a month for his chapter, leading his chapter to victory for Arizona Chapter of the Year, and establishing chapter relations with community businesses and organizations. Enrique has attended all Arizona Conventions, the Arizona Institute, and Princeton Summer School, he loved all of them. Wanting to give more students the JSA experience and only being a rising sophomore with only a year of experience, Enrique decided to apply for Director of Expansion in Tucson. Enrique got the position and is now the newly appointed Tucson Director of Expansion and Rincon University High School Chapter President. He wishes to spread JSA all over Tucson and offer the ‘JSA Lifestyle’ to as many kids as possible.
Salma Samaniego is a senior at Kofa High School. She joined JSAZ her junior year and was highly involved at the conventions and debates. She got member of the the year her junior year and applied for cabinet and became an Expansion Agent. She then ran again in 2016 and got her agent position expanded.
Alyssa Martinez is a sophomore at Kofa High School. She joined JSA during Spring Congress 2016 and also went to Summer Institute this summer. She is always to trying to get more involved and is always willing to help others. After Spring Congress she knew that JSA was the place for her to be. She found the importance of JSA and how others must get involved in this amazing organization too! She learned so many life traits she would’ve never imagined. Whether she leaves JSA today, which she isn’t anytime soon, she would leave with so much knowledge, leadership, life traits, and so many wonderful memories! She wants to start sharing these amazing experiences with the youth of Arizona and make a difference in their life by introducing them to JSA. While being the treasurer of the Ceramics Society at Kofa and being in the Key Club, she hopes to spread the love of JSA to everyone around her.
Alfredo Gutierrez, rising junior at kofa high school first joined JSA his sophomore year. Though subpar in terms of politics he then quickly grew to be more affluent and while things like his ability to debate where not very good he overcame his obstacles and pushed himself further. During his first year in JSA he went to Georgetown summer school where he studied government. Now the start of his second year as an expansion agent he attended the Montezuma leadership conference where he learned that he could be much more that what he is now. With a passion for traveling and eagerness for the wellbeing of others he tries to find new ways to better himself and expand his knowledge.
Director of Fundraising
Lorenzo Tortorici is a senior at Kofa High School and has been involved in JSAZ for the past two years.He joined JSA after a friend from class always bragged about the famous conventions that JSAZ would host. He later attended the Arizona Institute on Leadership and Politics, and also was enrolled in the 2016 JSA Princeton Summer School program in New Jersey. As a result Lorenzo have built a lot of networking contacts and he’s made a lot of relationships across his community city wide that allows him to fundraise for these events. As a result he’s been appointed the JSAZ Director of Fundraising for the year 2016-2017. Lorenzo sees JSA as the next step in his leadership after achieving Eagle Scout ranking in the Boy Scouts of America after a commitment of eight years. He has been told that he’s probably grown up too quick but that is because he is devoted to my success in life, while supporting others in their life goals. In the end Lorenzo would want people that he was surrounded with to know that he stood up for what was right, and that he promoted a constant pursuit of a higher understanding. Lorenzo is glad to be apart of this year’s Cabinet in JSAZ and he knows this year will be phenomenal!
Brisa Otanez joined JSA her freshman year of high school. Brisa has always been very interactive with all of JSA’s meetings, conventions, debates, etc. She joined JSA because her sister was the Vice President for the chapter at Kofa High School and she inspired Brisa to get involved with JSA as well. Her first ever convention was at ASU 2015 & 2016 Summer Institute and after that convention she attended all the others. JSA has shown Brisa how to grow as a person. At this year’s Summer Institute she decided to take the challenge and apply for a cabinet position. JSA isn’t just a club to Brisa, it’s a life style and now that Brisa is a Fundraising Agent she is more determined for people to find out about JSA and fall in love with it just as she did.
Director of Debate
Charlie Knipp’s journey began at the early age of 14 when, as a punishment, he was forced to watch the entirety of the RNC. What happened next surprised him, in fact so much that he fell in love with the political ambiance. He first joined the Desert Mountain JSA chapter in the fall of 2015, beginning the year with little knowledge of the world, yet a desire to learn even more about it. His knowledge grew as he attended meeting after meeting, and in 2016 his chapter of seven then proceeded to walk away from Spring Congress with three best speaker gavels, one belonging to Charlie. The future is bright for this group of young politicians, and now with a newfound officer position as Vice President for his chapter, Director of Debate for JSAZ, IB Diploma Programme candidate, as well as VP publicity for Tri-M Desert Mountain, he will continue to strive for nothing less than perfection.
Director of Debate
Kyle Ashworth is a senior at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale. He has been in JSA for two years. Kyle plays basketball, volunteers in his community, and is in the IB program. In his free time he plays video games, hangs out with friends, and gets in fights on Reddit. He is a history, geography, and political nut who is in fact smarter than a 5th Grader.