Carah Hwang, Convention Coordinator
Carah Hwang is a rising senior at Northwood High School. She has been in JSA since her freshman year and has since fallen more and more in love with everything this organization stands for. She is now serving her second term as Northwood’s Chapter President and is so excited to see how her chapter will grow this year.
In addition to JSA, Carah is an active member in Speech and Debate and ASB. She hopes to carry positivity and good work-ethic in everything she does! In her free time, Carah enjoys going to the beach, playing volleyball, going on foodie adventures, discovering new music, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix!
Samantha Wasserman, Assistant Convention Coordinator
Sam Wasserman is a Junior at Beckman High School in Orange County and is entering her third year in SoCal JSA. She will be the Assistant Convention Coordinator for the 2017-2018 JSA year. In addition to involvement with the Junior State, she is the Assemblies Commissioner of her school’s ASB and watches Rick and Morty during her nights. She is passionate about politics, patriotism, and partying, and is prepared to help make the best JSA conventions yet.
Thomas Martinez, Director of Operations
Thomas Martinez a senior at Orange County School of the Arts(OCSA), where he studies Culinary Arts & Hospitality. Though much of his education is art driven, his fondness of food is only paralleled by his innate passion for politics. Thomas has been a member of JSA since his freshman year, he discovered an appetite for civic engagement and allowing others to have their own voice. Immediately, aimed to achieve within the program and attended the Montezuma Leadership Summit: an impactful event where he discovered new friends and new horizons within JSA. He would continue his endeavors within the program as a Deputy Director of Debate and enter into his senior year as OCSA’s Chapter President and SoCal’s Director of Operations. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve and provide guidance to Southern California JSA.
Outside of JSA Thomas participates in Leadership Initiatives: International Business Alliance Program and serves his community as a Candy Striper at his local hospital. He continues to provide for his community through his work as an Eagle Scout and by employing his skills in the kitchen at as many city events as possible.
Tyler Wong, Director of Social Activities
Tyler Wong is currently a Junior at Sage Hill School. As a Freshman, he attended Fall State 2016 and fell in love with JSA. He is grateful for the opportunities JSA has provided to learn about different political ideologies and his further explore aspects of his own. Tyler remains enamored with the program and is excited to serve a second year on cabinet.
He is excited to be working in the Convention Department and plans on implementing promising new activities to facilitate the social environment at overnights.
Some of Tyler’s other extracurriculars include but are (but not limited to): Model United Nations, Youth and Government, Progressive Direct Action (PDA), and Student Council. He can be found at Cha for Tea, which has become somewhat of his second home.
Jeremiah Hoppe, Convention Support Staff
Jeremiah is heavily involved in leadership at Rio Mesa High School, going into the new school year as Junior Class President and ASB Vice President. Although he has only been in JSA for one year, he is very excited for the upcoming JSA season. Also, Jeremiah is serving as the Chapter Vice President at Rio Mesa.
Jeremiah is an aficionado of crazy socks, bow ties, and tennis, but thoroughly enjoys a good debate. Other than JSA, he is a PragerFORCE ambassador for PragerU, a member of the Mock Trial team, and a part of Model United Nations on campus.
Mckenna Burns, Convention Support Staff
McKenna Burns is a junior at Harmony Magnet Academy. She has been a part of JSA since her sophomore year when her chapter president and biology partner highly encouraged her to join. McKenna became enthralled with JSA when she attended her first JSA convention. She has had the opportunity to attend Winter Congress 2017 and Spring State 2017.
Lucy Kim, Convention Support Staff
Lucy Kim is a rising junior at Harvard-Westlake School. She joined her school’s JSA chapter freshman year after overhearing a conversation about it on the bus, and she hasn’t looked back since. Last year she served on cabinet as a Deputy Director of Expansion after being accepted from mid-year applications, and she is excited to work on cabinet again. She is the middle child of her family and has four brothers. Her family is politically mixed, and while she is liberal, she’s always happy to engage in respectful and hopefully intense social discussions, especially about race/ethnicity and immigration. She enjoys playing soccer, though she’s never been much of a fan for watching. She loves culture and language and is currently developing her skills in four languages – English, Korean, Spanish, and Chinese. Her favorite hobbies are sleeping and eating, but she can be admittedly picky about food. Lucy is very much looking forward to this year and she knows we will have a great time!
Eva Petrosyan is a sophomore at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. She attended her first convention her freshman year of high school because her friends convinced her to get involved. She would like to thank her friends for introducing her to this superb program to her because JSA has helped her voice her thoughts and opinions. She passionately voices her opinions on imperative subjects that are present all throughout the world. She works well with her peers and is eager to work with her convention coordinator staff to improve JSA conventions. Eva hopes to meet new faces and encourage newbies to not be afraid and speak their mind in debate blocks. Outside of JSA, Eva is inclined to help her community by volunteering for different organizations and telethons. On top of that, she devotes countless hours to AP and college classes, as well as playing Varsity soccer. If you ever spot Eva, approach her for a good laugh.
Abril Olalde is a sophomore at Alliance Smidt Tech High School. She was first introduced to JSA in her freshman year and since then has fully involved herself in her chapter’s cabinet and now, JSA’s cabinet as well.
Abril has been able to attend 4 overnight conventions since she’s joined and has been able to see all the wonderful faces that helped develop JSA to what it is today. She has witnessed and experienced JSA’s powerful impact and is hoping to give everyone that joins an even better experience. It has given her great, life-changing opportunities that she never believed she’d be able to receive. JSA has truly changed her life and stolen her heart.
Besides JSA, April is also apart of her school’s volleyball team, student council,and the National Honors Society. She enjoys music a lot (yet she cannot play an instrument) and loves sports. Outside of JSA, you can find her swooning over KPOP idols, playing volleyball or softball, reading comic books, playing Halo5, or sketching.