Cathy Sun, Director of External Publicity
Cathy Sun is a politico, social activist, and avid writer. She is a senior at University High School in Irvine and extremely passionate about engaging youth in the political process. She currently also serves as the National Programs Director of the High School Democrats of America, and hopes to inspire more high school students to organize and mobilize around issues that impact their present lives and futures. Cathy has been involved in various Democratic campaigns and is a huge supporter of Planned Parenthood. She is almost always online and never sleeps, so never hesitate to shoot her a message.
Katie Smith, Director of Internal Publicity
Katie Smith is a rising senior at Irvine High School and serves as her chapter’s vice president. Although she joined JSA as a sophomore, she quickly immersed herself in the program and searched for opportunities to become more involved, working as a photographer in the publicity department since the middle of her sophomore year. She looks forward to contributing through her department for her final year of JSA.
Aside from JSA, Katie spends most of her time writing and recording music in her room. In addition, she enjoys going to concerts and taking photos of her friends.
Aren Melkonian, Assistant Director of Technology
Aren Melkonian is a Junior at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. He joined JSA in freshman year and has developed a strong liking towards it, attending seven overnight conventions. He has specifically appreciated the open environment JSA provides to his political views, although many do not agree with them. He has served on his schools chapter cabinet as Public Relations Officer and is now serving as Assistant Director of Technology of SoCal JSA.
Outside of JSA, Aren loves to build drones, research, and volunteer. He is the owner of his Non-Profit Organization called Student Helping Students. Additionally, he started his own volunteering program at Ararat Home, an Armenian Elderly Home. He also is the president of his International Business Alliance Program Team, working with Businessmen in Nigeria. Last summer he took an internship program at MIT and spend his time taking Physics and Intro to Engineering classes. Another hobby of his is playing Piano, Accordion, Violin, and most of all Pokemon Go.
His goal this JSA year is to improve technology interaction with JSA members, and surpass the limitation currently placed on technology. He is open to all suggestions for improvement.
Marisa Umeh, Assistant Director of Videography
Marisa Umeh is a rising senior from Diamond Bar, CA. She loves to learn, but more than that she loves to share what she has learned through filmmaking so that it may enlighten and better other’s lives. Her film she co‐directed titled “In & On” received second runner up in the Green IS category at the Girls Impact The World Film Festival hosted by ConnectHer and the Harvard Social Innovation Collaboration. She is a host for the #LikeHer, a web series, presented by Girls Learn International in which she interviews influential women in multiple fields. On campus, she is actively involved with organizations such as Girls Learn International and JSA, and enjoys her positions on Mock Trial and yearbook. Marisa looks forward to another exciting year on the JSA cabinet as she produces thought‐provoking visuals as Asst. Director of Videography!
Joey Rabinek, Videographer
Joey Rabinek is currently a sophomore at Milken Community High School. He has been apart of his JSA chapter since freshman year and has been in love with it ever since. After his first convention, he gained interest for debate and wanted to get more politically involved. Ever since then he has been an avid researcher of current political events and has greatly enjoyed governmental affairs. Not only does Joey believe that JSA is a helpful place to become politically involved and gain insight on current political affairs, but the Junior Statesmen Community also serves as warm and happy environment where all are welcome.
Jane Lee, Assistant Director of Photography
Jane is a Senior at John Marshall High School. She is Co-Chapter President alongside with Raymar Lagos. When she is not fully engrossed with JSA, she dabbles with knitting, fountain pens, overthrowing her school’s student government, reading, and binge watching American Dad. Jane has had the pleasure of taking part of the Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer debates, and she looks forward to taking great photos of everyone at JSA events.
Anthony Huynh, Photographer
Anthony Huynh is a junior at Westlake High School. He was introduced to JSA during his sophomore year by his current chapter club president. He was drawn in by the passion and livelihood that his fellow delegates possessed while debating. Anthony also fell in love with all the opportunities that allow him to voice his opinions and make a change in his community.
He also volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club and participates in various clubs such as FBLA and Key Club. In his free time, he likes to vlog and listen to music.
Josephine Choe, Photographer
Josephine Choe is a junior at Santa Monica High School. She has been involved in JSA since her freshman year. She loves the supportive community and encouraging environment JSA fosters and loves all the organization has to offer. She is excited to capture incredible moments this year through the lens of her camera, an intersection of her passions: political activism and photography. Outside of JSA, Josephine goes by her nickname, Joey, plays the flute, and participates in her high school’s community service delegation. She is an artist who always explores new mediums and can often be found reading a variety of magazines, from Teen Vogue to the Economist, and shooting more personal subject matters.
Joy Chen, Photographer
Joy Chen is a junior at Northwood High School and currently is involved in JSA as a Photographer. She fell in love with the activity after seeing the multiple friendships created and, its ability to promote activism through its members. Wanting to become more involved, she felt inspired to join both a club that advocates change as well as, creativity. Outside of JSA, Joy can be seen participating in Congressional debate and randomly taking photos of my friends, when they are not expecting it. Joy is excited to serve JSA’s cabinet this year!
Arev Hagopian, Photagrapher
Arev Hagopian is a junior at Pilibos Armenian School and has been part of JSA since her freshman year when she was encouraged to join JSA by older friends who told her what a great experience it was. Since then, she has attended multiple overnight conventions and one days which have helped to further her interest and passion towards JSA. She is also actively involved in school government as a Student Council Cabinet member, as well as a member of her schools volleyball and soccer teams.
Arev does not consider photography as just a job, but a passion. She loves to look at things from different perspectives, and is looking forward to helping JSA share its story in a unique new way. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and Arev hopes to write breathtaking volumes.
Joey Pollack is a sophomore at Palisades High School. He joined JSA last year, and while he has only been part of it a short time, he is thrilled to be your photographer. Joey has been taking photos for as long as he’s been in JSA, so he’s pretty psyched about pictures as well.
Outside of JSA, he plays trumpet in the marching band and orchestra and runs cross country and track.
Rawan Makarem, Photographer
Rawan Makarem is a sophomore at John Burroughs High School. She first became involved with JSA in the beginning of her freshman year. She has fallen in love with the supportive community and the political environment that JSA has to offer. She is looking forward to being able to capture the highlights of the incredible JSA experience through her passion for photography and politics. Apart from JSA, Rawan can be found building houses with Habitat for Humanity, trying to learn French, or participating in the Burroughs Medical Academy. She also enjoys listening to music, reading, and spending time with friends.