The Junior State of America (JSA) was created by and for young people interested in what happens around them – from politics, to how government works, and contributing to their community. Since its founding in 1934, JSA has served as a place where students build leadership skills, learn civil debate, and strengthen their engagement through volunteering and activism. More than 500,000 students have graduated high school as more active, informed members of their community as a result of their participation in JSA.
What We Do
JSA operates on high school campuses nationwide as an extracurricular activity during the school year. Students experience the drama and power of politics as well as the challenges and responsibilities of leadership. JSA chapters serve as the center of political awareness at their schools. JSA conventions and summer programs bring thousands of students together to learn from each other.
JSA allows for an exchange of ideas through stimulating student debates, thought talks, problem-solving and a variety of simulations. By participating in these activities, each member gains a more intelligent and informed viewpoint. JSA also provides a wonderful chance to meet and make friends with scores of other bright, involved students who have similar interests.
During the summer, JSA offers pre-college experience through our summer schools and institutes. Our summer schools are hosted on the campuses of Georgetown, Princeton, and Stanford universities. Our Summer Institutes are short, focused programs hosted at the University of California Los Angeles, Princeton and the University of California Davis. JSA also hosts a Diplomat Program at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China. These programs offer a rigorous curriculum that includes advanced courses in government, politics, history and public speaking.
Our speakers’ programs, a highlight of the summer programs, allows students to meet and engage with elected officials, public administrators, members of the media, lobbyists, civic leaders and business executives in lively dialogues about the public policy issues facing this nation.
Who We Serve
What makes JSA unique is its student-run, student-led model. Students organize every aspect of the organization, from the chapter level all the way to state and national administration. Our student leaders, elected by their fellow JSA members, plan and execute conventions, conferences, and political-awareness events.
Chapters collectively form regions and the regions form states. Each state elects a governor, who selects a cabinet of officers who plan, execute and implement three overnight conventions per year.