Junaid Farooqui is a senior at Marlboro High School and is ecstatic to be serving as your 2017-2018 NJR Mayor. Junaid has a variety of talents including fantastic eyebrows, a fierce jawline, and a passionate hatred for Biotechnology High School. Junaid is looking forward to serving the only region that matters: the NJR, to the greatest of his potential, because unlike Trevor Johnson, Junaid is a real Elected Official. Additionally, Junaid’s vision for the future is awe inspiring and his example will shape the path for all those who follow him.
Chief of StafF
Neha Nandiwada is a junior at Biotechnology High School and a devotee of JSA. As a dual citizen (a Biotech student who lives in Marlboro), Neha is in the process of mastering the art of fostering peace between rival nations. During school, Neha can be found directing her school’s talented choir, playing badminton with her friends, or organizing meetings for her tightly-knit JSA chapter. Neha is beyond grateful for her experiences as a CIA Agent, her chapter’s secretary, and a delegate for the MAS at the Montezuma Leadership Institute this past summer. Neha is an intense television savant, some of her favorites being The Office, Psych, Parks and Recreation, and Arrested Development. She is sure that the friendships she makes this year will be unforgettable, and she can’t wait to add more JSA nametags to her collection.
Alanna Flores is a senior in the Business Learning Center at Marlboro High School, and she is very excited to serve as Conference Coordinator. She feels JSA has taught her the value of shared aspirations as well as the importance of collaboration and communication in achieving a common goal. Alanna is very passionate about environmental science and economics. Outside of JSA, she is an active member of student government, theater society, and DECA. In her free time, Alanna enjoys performing in musical theater productions and listening to jazz music. She is looking forward to an exciting and productive year on cabinet!
Galen Ekimov, a senior at Shawnee High School, is thrilled to be apart of the NJR Mayoral Cabinet as Conference Coordinator for the 2017/2018 School Year. Galen started out in JSA as a sophomore in the brand new Shawnee Chapter, where he served as Director of Recruitment. He was then elected to the presidency of Shawnee Chapter for the following two years. Outside of JSA, Galen is a member of the NJ High School Democrats, and he is currently volunteering for the Phil Murphy campaign. Galen also plays tennis and is an avid reader of world history and epic fantasy, his favorite series being A Song of Ice and Fire. All in all, Galen looks forward to his final year in JSA and hopes to make an impact.
Director of Public RelationS
Aiyanna Rhayne Orta-Batista is a junior at Leonia High School, where she serves as her chapter’s Director of Public Relations. She spent the summer of 2016 working as a paid intern at the Brooklyn Museum tasked in making activism and politics more accessible to teens, and the summer of 2017 attending JSA Summer School at Princeton University where she took AP Government and Politics. Outside of JSA, Aiyanna Rhayne participates in her school’s Mock Trial team, Writing Club, Film Club, and Artist’s Association, and rows on her school’s Crew Team. She believes her niche is to write and direct movies that expose the different ways in which people in our society live and the different struggles they face politically, socially, and economically, in order to spread awareness and compassion. Apart from her social and political interests, Aiyanna is also passionate about La Croix, Viceland, punk music/culture, and film.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Clara Duhon is a senior at Princeton High School and is starting her first year on NJR cabinet as Director of Public Relations. Last year, she was PHS Director of Activism and Engagement/Events, organizing and moderating the keynote panel at PHS’s first chapter conference, and she will continue this role for the coming year. Clara is a member of a number of political and activist organizations, and has canvassed and phone banked for state and national elections. She has a particular interest in Chinese language, culture, and politics. In summer 2017 she studied Mandarin and lived in a rural village in southwestern China. In her spare time, she enjoys Broadway musicals, exploring bookstores, and going to talks at Princeton University on public affairs.
Director of Logistics
Grace Baillie, a senior, is thrilled to serve as one of your NJR Directors of Logistics this year. Grace first became involved with JSA in the winter of her sophomore year, and has since thrown herself into everything JSA related. She is an active member of the South Jersey Chapter, where she has served as the Treasurer and Director of Community Service. She also had the incredible opportunity to serve as a Chapter Internal Affairs Agent on Vice Mayoral Cabinet last year. Grace has enjoyed playing piano for over ten years, and is currently teaching private lessons to young students in Philadelphia. In her rare moments of freedom, Grace can be found volunteering at a pediatric facility for medically fragile children, binge-watching Netflix dramas while eating dark chocolate, and pretending she’s a Broadway star. Grace is looking forward to working alongside so many dedicated JSAers this year!
Ralph De Palma
Director of Logistics
Ralph De Palma is a senior at Marlboro High School, and he serves as the New Jersey Region Director of Logistics. He is also co-President of the Marlboro Chapter. Additionally, he is the President of DECA, Science League, and Italian Club at his school. Although he’s a nerd, AP’s never distract him from his dedication to the Junior State of America. He enjoys Netflix and chilling, but never at a JSA event. He listens to hip-hop/rap music, and is in love with the NJR Mayor. If you want him to like you, he likes Fritos and coffee. He looks forward to hearing from you for some Logistical, guru-type advice.
Executive Director of Debate
Michael Murphy is a junior from Midland Park in Bergen County. Michael attends the Bergen County Academies, where he is the Chief of Staff for his glorious chapter. In addition to JSA, Michael is on the BCA Varsity Debate Team, serves as the Vice President of the Student Council, and enjoys warming the bench as part of the lacrosse team. Michael has aspirations to study government and foreign languages, and eventually law. Outside of academics, Michael makes some grimy Spotify playlists and urges you to follow them. As a fan of adrenaline rushes, he snowboards, windsurfs, and goes to concerts solely for the purpose of moshing. If all fails in his life, Michael will dye his hair white and become a SoundCloud rapper. For now, Michael is more than excited to serve as this year’s Executive Director of Debate for his fellow comrades.
Director of Debate
Kate Morales is a junior at the wild, never mild Leonia High School and she is so excited to be serving as a Director of Debate this year. Kate keeps herself busy debating on her school’s varsity team and as an active member of Leonia DECA. She loves her chapter and serves as its Director of Logistics. This past summer she graduated from Media and Politics (the best class!) at JSA Summer School at Georgetown. She also likes to row away from her haters as a member of her school’s crew team. In her free time, Kate can be found fattening up her friends with baked goods, crying over cute dogs, and defending her love of country music. As Director of Debate, she looks forward to diversifying topics and discourse, and can’t wait for the year to come.
Director of Debate
David Gonzalez is a senior from Biotechnology High School. David is well-experienced in debate, having participated in JSA for the last 3 years and in his local Model United Nations organization as an officer. He likes making new friends at debate events and keeping in touch throughout the year. Outside of these activities, David has also suffered through 7 years of cross country and competed for 5 years in track and field. He once ate 45 chicken nuggets in a single sitting after a difficult race. In his free time, he plays guitar, trains his calves, and eats inordinate amounts of sushi.
DIRECTOR OF DEBATE
Pole Lee is a junior from Manalapan in Monmouth County. He attends the business program at Marlboro High School, and is currently the Student Assembly Representative for his chapter. Along with JSA, Pole participates in various clubs: he is the President of the MHS UNICEF club, and an active member of Red Cross, DECA, and FBLA. Outside of school, he enjoys swimming, working out while lamenting about how small he is, and eating all Korean food in sight. He also makes the best chicken and broccoli stir-fry known to man. All in all, he is excited for a productive and successful year ahead.
DIRECTOR OF DEBATE
Director of Activism
Ginny Ha is a junior at Bergen County Academies and is thrilled to serve as your NJR Director of Activism. Although this is only her second year as a member of JSA, she has always been passionate about debates and social activism. Being raised in multiple countries, Ginny was always fond of global politics and this curiosity led her to join JSA. Outside of JSA, she is a member of various activism based clubs, such as UNICEF, World Vision, All Together, and also serves as the treasurer of Liberty In North Korea. Aside from politics, Ginny is very interested in the STEM field and enjoys micro-pipetting and watching pimple popping videos before going to sleep. She relates closely to Martha Stewart as she loves baking pies, reading, knitting, growing herbs, brewing tea, and staying home.