Our institutes introduce students to important topics of civic action through dialogue, engagement, and experience. 

Summer institutes are seven sessions over a two-week period, designed to support and empower high school students to look beyond problems, and focus on solution-oriented action.  Each institute combines a speakers program, interactive student activities, and collaborative projects, all of which offer a unique perspective on the important issues facing America today. 

You’ll meet elected officials, journalists, activists, and leaders, as well as students from across the U.S. and world. 

A focus on specific issues drives each JSA Summer Institute, giving students a chance to become experts in the topic of their choice.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all JSA Summer Institutes will be held virtually!


Burd Institute on Media & Politics

The Gene A. Burd Institute on Media & Politics is an engaging and hands-on digital experience created to introduce students to the intricacies of media and its relationship to politics. This program includes a foundational introduction to journalism, the creation of editorial content, and the concepts of audience, medium, and product.

Young Women's Leadership Institute

The Young Women’s Leadership Institute is an engaging and hands-on digital experience created to empower young women in their everyday lives. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and nurtured through instruction, self-reflection, and practice. In this institute, young women will learn about their own leadership styles, the history of women’s leadership in the United States, how to build teams and manage collaborative relationships, how leadership intersects with identity, and how all young women have the opportunity to lead in their communities.

Civics Immersion Program

This year JSA is introducing a new Civics Immersion Program! The program is an entirely virtual, three-week intensive non-credit program, creating a space for innovation and continuous learning.

Students can choose from the following courses: Environmental Justice, Global Poverty, Inequality and Justice, and Design Thinking for Community Problem Solving. In addition to choosing one of these courses, participants can choose to take an elective course in argumentation and use of evidence. This experience is designed to support and empower high school students to look beyond problems and focus on solution-oriented action. Students will dig deeper into the most pressing issues we face today and apply lessons learned to solve real-life problems in their communities.