On the 26th and 27th of August, the Midwest Cabinet, comprised of a group of individuals appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to help run and improve the Midwest State, convened at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, Illinois to discuss their vision for the upcoming 2017-2018 JSA year. In only two days, they brainstormed numerous goals, planned out their agenda for the year, began working in each of their departments, and above all, formed a close-knit bond. Members of Cabinet came out of the weekend newly energized for what is to be an extremely exciting and productive year of JSA.
Each department set challenging but tangible goals. Examples include the Fundraising Department’s aim to raise at least $12,000 by the end of this year and the Chapter Internal Affairs and Expansion Department’s aim to reverse the trend of the decreasing number of chapters in the Midwest. Consequently, a generous amount of time was set aside for developing and following-through with these goals. Cabinet members from all departments worked tirelessly through the night on a number of important tasks: creating resolutions, event calendars, graphics, and so much more. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, members felt more than comfortable in their ability to serve the Midwest. As Expansion Agent Tatiana Washington puts it, “to say CabCon was productive would simply be an understatement.”
Cabinet is more prepared than ever to execute a variety of initiatives on both the state and national level. One such example is fundraising for the nation-wide matching grant which starts on September 1st. The dollars raised during this event will be going to scholarships that will help JSAers attend major conventions.
By brainstorming ideas and drafting timelines for the upcoming Fall State, new members found themselves breaking the ice with the rest of Cabinet with ease. When asked about how her perspective of her department changed after getting to know them a little better, Activism Agent Liana Koleva said that her directors “went from these two intimidating people in charge of me to really nice and cool people I happened to be working with.”
Midwest CabCon also provided previous Cabinet members with new facts about the Junior State of America Foundation (JSAF), as well as clarifications on how chapters, states, governors and sponsors all support each other. Meghan Hendrix, who is entering her second year on Cabinet as an Expansion Agent, was able to walk away from the convention with the ability to view JSA as “a whole” rather than just separate entities that were only loosely connected.
When it came to encapsulating the essence of CabCon in one sentence, CIA Agent Avigail Bailon says it best:
“CabCon was a whole new side of JSA, but it was a side that everyone should experience.”