The Junior State of America was originally established in 1934 as a sociological experiment. Pioneered by Professor E.A. Rogers of Montezuma Mountain School, the original Junior State of America allowed students the opportunity to set-up their own tree-branch government, expanding from a singular executive branch to encompassing an entire police force. While many components of this initial “experiment” were short-lived, one principle survived the organization’s early development; a need for a strong executive branch supplemented by a vocal and participatory public legislature. This principle has served as the foundation for various incarnations of JSA throughout its 83-year history.
Today, JSA is the largest wholly student-run organization in the United States, consisting of over 10.000 registered members, and hundreds of school chapters. Growing from the confines of Los Gatos, California, JSA’s reach has spread over to hundreds of high schools across the United States, and has had liaisons with similar organizations across the world. Students organize every aspect of the organization, from after-school meetings to state conventions. Members of JSA work to elect their own local, regional, and state leadership to administrate activities on regional, state, and national levels.
While JSA is collectively known for being a national organization, JSA localities play a critical role making JSA sustainable for future generations of student leaders. Chapter meetings and activities play a crucial role in invigorating young minds about statesmanship and engaging in political discourse. Activities ranging from simple thought talks to activism fairs attract new generations of youth into being active participants in democratic society, while strengthening the involvement of those already involved in our nation’s political process.
Regional and State activities thrive off of the political efficacy generated by these local chapters. Students who serve as leaders or members in regional or state government work to supplement the political advocacy generated by localities with innovative debate styles, problem solving sessions, and a host of simulations to provide members with well-rounded perspectives and the ability to think over and advocate for important issues; while gaining important insight into their own leadership abilities.
THE JSA mission
to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.
Our nonprofit, Junior Statesmen Foundation, and the Junior State of America (JSA) have helped over 500,000 student leaders acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be active, informed and responsible citizens, voters and leaders. We are committed to developing a diverse cross section of young leaders throughout the entire country.
For a better America, and a better tomorrow.