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Junior State of America Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Democracy, Youth Community Service Clubs, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission: The mission of the Junior State of America and the Junior Statesmen Foundation (JSA) is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.

Target demographics: youth and teens of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds

Direct beneficiaries per year: 11,000 students nationwide

Geographic areas served: nationwide

Programs: year-round leadership training and engaging summer schools

Community Stories

270 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is an amazing club that I am honestly grateful to be a part of. Joining my freshman year, I was so surprised at how inviting everyone was and the style of debate that JSA offered. Contrary to my belief, JSA was not some type of formal congressional style debate free of all emotion and opinion. JSA's motto to spread democracy has ushered a more casual style of debate that motivates even the non-frequent speaker to say a few opinionated words on the cause that he or she feels strongly about. This openness is honestly what kept me in JSA last year, and is why I would love to stay active over my next 3 years at VHHS!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined JSA my freshman year of high school largely by accident, thinking it would be a fun alternative to "real" debate - and I've never been happier to be wrong. JSA has become a large, integral part of my life these last 3 years, and has molded me into a better speaker, leader, citizen, and person. I honestly don't know where I would be without the people JSA has introduced me to and the skills JSA has taught me; I'm proud to say that the Junior State of America has changed my life in the way it has changed the lives of thousands of students across the country.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is truly a special organization. I have never seen a group of students more passionate about fighting apathy and actively participating in today's society than the Junior Statesmen of America. I joined JSA towards the end of my freshman year, shy, reserved, and terrified of public speaking. I hoped to find a voice through which I could express my personal opinions, and JSA has given me exactly that. Not only have I become a more confident public speaker, but I've also gotten an opportunity to meet so many new people and forge connections that I never could have made without JSA. This organization is one of the few places in which I can express my opinions in such a positive, encouraging atmosphere. JSA has impacted me in more ways than I can imagine, and I hope others get a chance to have the same wonderful experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a current Senior, I've been a JSA member since my sophomore year. Of course, there's a reason why I've stuck with it. JSA has been one of the most engaging experience I've had with debate. It has constantly prompted me to look at pressing issues from new perspectives, and research to stay up to date with what peers had to say. Not only this, but JSA provides a remarkable amount of opportunities for activism and student leadership, allowing participating students to not only talk about political and social issues, but take a more active role in combating them within their communities. It's been one of the greatest experiences of my high school career, and I'm really looking forward to another year as a JSA member!

Minas R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I joined JSA in my sophomore year, I can honestly say that my only regret was not joining earlier. I know phrases like "life-changing" are thrown around all the time for the most trivial things but I can honestly say that I would have been a completely different person, both socially and politically had it not been for this organization. JSA's impact has been felt by every single member and I hope that it continues playing such a large role in other peoples' lives as it does in mine.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone that has been part of JSA says at one point “JSA changed my life.” I know that may sound cliché but it is true in every sense of the sentence. Every JSAer, advisor or volunteer could definitely agree with me on it. I personally have grown a lot as a person since the day I joined. I know how to express my ideas more thoroughly and I also learned how to give a speech in front of a group of students that I know will listen to my opinion about political issues. I can’t find the perfect words to describe JSA because you have to live it to believe it.

Brianna W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a lot of trouble putting my JSA experience Into words! It is the best possible thing that has ever happened to me. I have meet some of my best friends here and its just such a wonderful experience. I went into JSA not knowing much about the organazition, but once I seen everything I was absolutely blown away. It has opened up so many doors for me and has just made me such a better person. I hope everyone can have such a wonderful experience in their life!

Sam_26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JSA is an incredible and enriching program that has definitely changed my life for the better! JSF makes all of this possible and allows those who can't afford the fee to attend our conventions to attend on scholarships!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA changed my life.

I was introduced to the organization in the middle of my freshman year, and was immediately hooked on the in-depth serious discussion students like me were having. At the time, I was a remarkably shy, quiet, and reserved person, keeping largely to myself. I was terrified of conversation, much less public speaking. Yet somehow, I found myself getting up to the podium and speaking my mind. It became more natural every time. The confidence I had speaking in front of a group, somehow, translated into my day-to-day conversations, and I became more social, friendlier, and happier. JSA gave me courage, and for that, I cannot thank it enough.

Xavier R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the only places a young adult can express, and refute, their peers political opinions; in a positive, encouraging, environment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is one of the most, not only positive, but eye-opening organizations in my life. Through JSA I have had countless leadership opportunities and chances to improve my speaking and listening skills. I have been to the Madison Capitol building, Washington DC, all to speak on topics that truly matter to me and listen to other passionate JSAers speak their minds. But it has not just been these opportunities that have had the most profound impact on my life. Instead, it has been the people that this amazing organization has introduced me to. From California to Texas to Arizona to Indiana, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico, I have met so many diverse and phenomenal people. Whether it be in 3 days or 3 weeks, I have learned so much and grown as a person by being surrounded by JSAers. They have truly changed what I say, how I think, and who I am. I have enormous gratitude toward this organization and cannot imagine my life without it.

Board Member

Rating: 5

JSA is a terrific program, because it gives teenager a voice. It's an open discussion where teenagers who otherwise might have lived their whole lives ignoring their civic rights can not only talk about politics, but be active in them.

Too many teens feel pessimistic or hopeless from the current state of the country, and don't realize that it is our chance to make a change. JSA gives opportunities to, among other things, create and attend conferences that span state boundaries, activism activities across the Midwest, and summer programs for talented high schoolers.

On a more personal level, I've been involved in JSA for the past year, and it's quickly become an important part of my life. I'm ecstatic to find a group of people who not only are interested in talking about politics and current events, but also are PASSIONATE about it! It also allowed many of my peers to speak publicly and gain confidence.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a part of this organization for almost 3 years now, and it has truly been one of the most influential nonprofits I have had experience with. I find their mission of improving civic activism and promoting political awareness very inspiring and relevant to all Americans. Through organizing conventions at which students debate over current events and policy issues, the Junior State of America helps provide a voice to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. I highly encourage anyone who has a passion for meaningful legislation and reform to donate; every dollar counts!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Like many reviewers before me have said, JSA has truly changed my life for the better, and that is definitely not an exaggeration. As a high school student looking for an outlet to discuss the many issues of our world and also a student tired of being told what to do all the time, this organization encompassed everything I was looking for, and more. The Junior State of America has opportunities for every kind of person out there- new friendships, leadership opportunities with a range of responsibilities, and intelligent discussion and debate. But most of all, it provides an outlet for students to be self-sufficient, something that many kids are lacking when they go off to college or the real world. Students run almost every aspect of JSA, from weekly chapter meetings to major conventions, and even nationwide activism projects.
I joined JSA my freshman year and am in my third year, and I couldn't imagine my high school career without it. I know I've changed as a person for the better because of JSA, and I've surprised myself with what I could accomplish because of what JSA has pushed me to do. I'm so thankful that I have this year and the next left to continue being active and will cherish it, because I know that this experience is something that I'll never be able to have again.
This entire review page is a testament to how much of an impact JSA has on students now and later in life, and some day I hope that the majority of students in the United States get to experience JSA and have their life changed, just as many of us have.

nmarcus

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is a program that truly has something for everyone. Some people find inner confidence and become comfortable speaking in front of rooms full of friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. Some people find a passion for politics that will follow them through college and into their careers. Some people find friendships that give them much needed stability as they navigate high school. JSA has given me a little bit of all of this - I know when I go to meetings and conventions that I will learn a little bit more about myself. I know that I will gain experience in speaking and debating while still having fun. And I know that I will be surrounded by other dedicated people that challenge me to consider things in different ways. Joining JSA was one of the best decisions I made as the people there are people I want to be around - they help me make a difference in my community and become a better person.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first joined JSA I didn't realize how much it would affect my life. I have made countless friends that I will remember for the rest of my life, I've also learned about politics and social issues through this organization. JSA is unlike any other organization since it is essentially student run, which is really fun for the students to participate in. JSA creates a friendly environment to talk about social issues, politics, or to just have a good time! JSA has most definitely had a huge impact on my freshmen and so far sophmore year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been a JSA member for the past two years, I can confidently say that JSA has been one of the highlights of my high school career. JSA is more than just an after-school debate club; it's a wonderful organization that encourages students to take an active role in their government and make their own informed opinions on current issues. JSA has played such an important role in my life. From giving me the confidence to speak in public to sparking my passion for activism and politics, JSA has provided me with priceless opportunities that have helped me to become a better speaker, leader, and citizen.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Almost a year ago, I was a sophomore in high school. Almost a year ago, I made a decision that will affect me for the rest of my life. I joined JSA. At the time, I didn't fully realize it, but the decision I made is one that I will also remain proud of for the rest of my life. JSA is one of the most remarkable, tremendous organization that I have been part of. JSA has been an extremely impactful presence on my character, my behavior, and my voice. JSA has allowed me to be a better public speaker, a better communicator, has shaped my diplomatic sharpness like no other, and finally, and also most importantly, it has allowed met to be a better, more well rounded citizen of the world. From mumbling at my first speech, to being extremely eloquent at my most recent, JSA has helped me like no other, to become an amazing person.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA has been an insightful, powerful organization that has played a great role in molding my character and my voice throughout high school. A wonderful organization dedicated to inspiring political awareness/involvement and civic engagement within students, it has provided thousands of people - myself included - a fantastic experience, with its unique student-run nature making it all the more impressive as a whole. From stammering through my ideas during my freshman year to eloquently delivering speeches now, the skills and values JSA brings has helped me not only become more aware of the world and society beyond my community bubble, but it also helped me strengthen my voice and form my own opinions on current issues. Thus, JSA has helped form a wiser, brighter, more active youth, capturing and developing one's own potential by providing such a rich experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is a great organization that promotes political awareness and involvement. My involvement with JSA has introduced me to a variety of fascinating people, opinions, and political issues. Without a doubt it is one of the finest extracurricular activities I have experienced. Besides debating politics, JSA also encourages real-world participation from voter registration to contacting politicians. I would strongly encourage any student interested in politics and current events to get involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is the most remarkable and distinguished organization that I have been a part of. Although I have only been involved in JSA for a little over a year it has already changed the way I think and has enhanced my public speaking skills along with my confidence. I look back and wonder about all of the wonderful things that I missed my freshman year by not joining JSA. I have been able to meet various students like myself in the Midwest, who enjoy debating controversial issues and want to be active citizens because of JSA. This organization has a welcoming atmosphere that is both enriching and captivating.

Volunteer

Rating: 5



JSA has been an organization that has greatly impacted me through out highschool career. When I attended my first convention during my sophomore year, I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. JSA isn't just a debating club; it was a medium for me to gain confidence in my public speaking, become more aware of current events, and meet great people. I've grown so much in JSA; I remember panicking as I asked my first question to winning my first gavel for a main speech. I hope that every student gets a chance to experience JSA and share in everything it has to offer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA has been one of the most influential extracurriculars of my high school career. I have learnt so much about debate and politics. I have learnt how important it is to be active in your government. This organization allows for young students to participate in politics and spread their opinion. The current youth are the future of this great nation and if they don't learn how to voice their opinion as well as have an opinion this nation will fall to pieces as well as have no active enrollment in the government. JSA allows the youth to participate and see the importance in participation. JSA has changed so many lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is a wonderful organization that gives kids a chance everywhere to really learn about the American democracy. What sets JSA apart is it's comittment to the students it is helping. All conventions are student run, and all debates are done by students for students. JSA is shaping the next generation of diplomats and negotiators by letting them have a voice. Most kids feel that they are unimportant poitically, but JSA breaks that mold. Personally, JSA has assured me that it is ok to have opinions, and beyond that, taught me how to articulate them potitely and professionally. JSA offers invaluable skills to teens: confidence and the strength to hold their own in a true political discussion. Cabinet members get a chance to experience real responsibility, and leadership positions are available at the most local level in high school chapters all around America. JSA is impressive, and is building a very bright future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is a wonderful organization that has allowed me to become a better leader, organizer, and speaker. I have been given opportunities to plan events, moderate debates, and learn more about current events. The opportunities I have been given are priceless and I will continue to be involved until I graduate.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

JSA keeps me informed of politics and current events. It has helped developed my debating and speaking skills and I have grow comfortable speaking in front of crowds. Overall JSA is a wonderful organization that has helped me find my true self.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

JSA has helped me grow through my high school years. Beyond debating skills JSA has provided a medium for me to really think and form opinions about current events and other government related issues. JSA has also helped me to be able to articulate these thoughts and defend them if they are challenged.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has changed my life significantly. When i first joined my JSA Chapter, I had little to know understanding of how our government works as a whole, and very poor debating and public speaking skills. Now, I greatly enjoy debating political topics and expressing my opinions in debates. JSA is a great experience for anyone at all. I eagerly look forward to attending each meeting and engaging in current political issue discussions with my peers. Overall, it's an excellent foundation and i will miss it after i graduate. Thanks, JSA!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is a great way for high schoolers to learn more about law, government, and current events. Its is excellent preparation and experience for the next generation's leaders

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This foundation has deeply changed my view on debating. Its grounds are deep and firmly set.
It has changed my perspective view on debating. Im glad I took the change and I hope whoever reads this will also. This is a great club and I think anyone who loves the good sport of debating will have a great time in trying out.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

JSA is a great experience and improves your debating skills. Definitely worth joining.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

It's good. Honestly my one downfall was summer school. The kids talked the talk more than walked the walk. They really had no backbone. A lot of my great friends who I love weren't educated well enough on a situation to actually make a judgement on their own two feet without their views being distorted by previous news articles or stereotypical society opinions. They went wherever the wind went. If the majority thought one way then they thought that way too. This is all because they weren't educated enough and given the opportunity to think on their own two feet without society's distortion. Figure out a way to prevent that and I will give JSA 5 stars and recommend JSA to my kids one day.
This is pretty harsh, but its honest. I say these things in the most sincere way and only to make the organization better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA has changed my life in ways unimaginable. I've made lifelong friends, gained great leadership skills, and have done so much to impact my community. Join now and you'll become the most politically engaged student in your community.

Annabelle F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Junior State is an organization like no other. I find myself explaining it's purposeto people daily and encouraging them to get involved because it has made such a great impact on my life. I encourage you to join JSA and tell your friends and family to also, it's a worthwhile time investment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSA is a life changing organization. It has helped me become a better public speaker and become more aware of current events and politics. JSA has also allowed me to meet intellectual students from all around country.