JSA Mission Statement:
The mission of the Junior State of America and the Junior Statesmen Foundation (JSA) is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for lifelong involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.
Who We Are
On high school campuses across the country, there are students concerned with what is happening around them – students who are interested in politics and government, foreign affairs, the law and education. The Junior State of America (JSA) was created by and for these young people. Since its founding in 1934, more than 500,000 student members have become active, informed citizens through JSA.
What makes JSA so unique is that students organize every aspect of the organization, from the chapter level all the way to state and national administration. Our student leaders, elected by their fellow JSA members, plan and execute all of the conventions, conferences and political-awareness events held by JSA.
JSA allows for an exchange of ideas through stimulating student debates, thought talks, problem solving and a variety of simulations. By participating in these activities, each member gains a more intelligent and informed viewpoint. JSA also provides a wonderful chance to meet and make friends with scores of other bright, involved students who have similar interests. It’s an experience that no young person would want to miss.
JSA is a national organization organized at the local chapter level. These chapters collectively form regions which coordinate communication with chapters and run regional events annually. The regions form states which run three large overnight conventions a year, and the national level of general program operations.
What We Do
JSA conventions are tri-yearly overnight events that contain all things JSA, featuring two days packed full with debates, meaningful discussion, and social events to get know your fellow JSAers from around the Ohio River Valley. Fall State kicks the conventions off in November and enthuses ORV JSA with a variety of debates and discussion about current events. The next convention is Winter Congress in February, where members contribute and vote on bills in an in depth simulation of the legislative process. Spring State concludes the year and features a wider sampling of alternative debate styles and the elections for the next year’s state officers. The three major events are complemented by a variety of chapter conventions, which are daylong, themed affairs hosted by schools within the ORV.
One of the most engaging branches of JSA is the Activism department. Activism bridges the gap between JSA and government. Activism does this through Community Service, Opportunity Fairs, and Youth Advisory Boards.
Summer school offers an opportunity to extend the JSA experience outside of the school year through three week classes at top tier universities. Currently classes are offered at Princeton, Georgetown, and Stanford, with a U.S. History course offered at the University of Virginia. Topics range from AP Macroeconomics to International Relations to Speech and Political Communications. For a complete list of course offerings and more information about JSA summer school, visit jsa.org.