The Junior State of America was founded in 1934, and since then has grown to be an organization with over 500,000 student members. These students all have one common bond: they are interested in politics, government, foreign affairs, the law, and education. The idea for JSA was first formed by Professor E.A. Rogers, headmaster of the Montezuma School in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. Professor Rogers believed that one of the most important parts in maintaining a democracy was training its youth in the basics of government. He wanted to create an organization in which students would not only learn about the essentials of government, but actually practice them. Since the 1930’s, JSA has spread throughout the country and runs summer schools in Georgetown, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and China.
One of the greatest parts of JSA is the fact that students organize and run the entire organization. It is the largest student-run organization in the United States. From holding debates during chapter meetings to planning mini-cons, regional conferences, and overnight conventions to running the national administration, students do it all. Every year, members of JSA choose the elected officials whom they want to be the faces of the Southeast State. Because of the hard work of the elected officials and their cabinets, students all over the country are able to engage in debates, thought talks, special activities, and more. They are able to improve their knowledge of government and politics, hone their public speaking skills, learn about participating in a democracy and mock government, and make amazing friends and connections who will stay with them forever. The events offered by JSA provide students with a range of experiences, from participating in elections to submitting bills to a mock Congress and being able to challenge and learn from keynote speakers.