Scott High School Chapter of the Junior Statesmen of America
WHAT IS JSA?
We meet every Thursday from 2:45-4:00 PM in the Library
- JSA is a student run non-partisan political awareness club. Students run the chapter meetings, decide on debate topics, and organize every aspect of the chapter, regional state, and national program
- JSA gives students a chance to develop important leadership skills. As a student run organization, JSA helps its leaders develop important leadership skills such as organizing meetings, delegating responsibilities, and motivating their peers
- JSA provides a valuable opportunity for students to develop or sharpen public speaking skills. Public speaking is a major emphasis of JSA. Our debates and discussions help students develop the ability to verbally express their thoughts and opinions in a clear and persuasive manner
- JSA holds Saturday conference and overnight conventions that allow students from many different high schools a chance to debate and discuss important issues, JSA events feature exciting activities, interesting political keynote speakers, and great social activities
Debate: Student legislative debates on controversial issues
Candidate Debates: Public debates among candidates for school and local elected offices
Open Forums: Meetings open to the public to discuss local issues
Political Fairs: Open forums for political organizations
Local Government Meetings: Bring a chapter to a city council or board of education meetings, observe a civil or criminal trial
Voter Registration Drive: Register high school seniors to vote
School Assemblies: School-wide political awareness programs featuring speakers, debates, and other activities
Opinion Polls: Poll the student body on social or political questions, then publicize the results
Fund Raisers: To reduce convention fees for members
Conferences: Invite students from your high school and other Junior State members of neighboring chapters to a chapter sponsored, one day conference or workshop on political issues
Thought Talks: Open discussions on contemporary issues
Simulations: Students address modern problems through mock legislatures, trials, school boards etc.
Examples of JSA Conventions for the 2014-2015 School Year
1) Kentucky Youth Assembly: At the Crown Plaza in Louisville, and the Old State Capital Building in Frankfort
The Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) is a three-day experiential learning conference in which students participate directly in the Commonwealth’s democratic process. Acting as Senators and Representatives students will write, debate, and vote on legislation that affects them. As candidates, lobbyists, or members of the media, students experience the rich spectrum of activity that constitutes our political process. As advocates and justices, students argue and judge a legal case in the actual Supreme Court chambers of Kentucky. Officers elected by students serve as Governor, other elected offices, and conference leadership. During the entire process they are supported by YMCA professionals, advisors, and parent volunteers
2) Winter Congress: At Doubletree Hilton in Washington D.C.
“You write the bills. You cast the votes. You make the laws.”
Textbook accounts of how a bill becomes a law can never convey the passions of lawmaking. Even viewing Congress in session fails to give you a sense of the heated debates that go on in committee hearings or the compromising done in back room meetings. Congress lets high school students experience the thrill of having their own legislation passed by Congress or the anguish of watching their bill defeated. You will also have the opportunity to debate other student’s bills and to propose amendments to make them better or do your best to prevent a bad bill from becoming law. At Congress you will experience everything from back room logrolling to the fiery speeches made on the floor of the House and Senate. All high school students and teachers are invited to attend these simulations of the American political process. You will learn how a bill becomes a law by being part of the process.
3) Kentucky United Nations Assembly: At the Crown Plaza in Louisville
The Kentucky United Nations Assembly is a three-day experiential learning conference in which students participate directly in simulated international diplomacy. As Ambassadors emulating the culture and representing diverse interests of UN member countries from around the world, students dive deeply into the culture of another nation and are encouraged to re-examine the world from another perspective.
Students offer solutions for international issues by writing, presenting, debating, and voting on proposals. Students also celebrate cultural diversity by presenting aspects of their chosen country’s culture at the Global Village and International Stage. Officers elected by students serve as conference leadership, supported by YMCA professionals, advisors, and parent volunteers.
4) Spring State Convention: At the Hilton on Capitol Square in Columbus OH
At Junior State conventions students engage in a variety of activities, including debates, student-led thought talks, mock trials and other simulations which critically examine the political landscape. Students learn about today’s important issues and have the unique opportunity to express their opinions and challenge the opinions of others in a tolerant, supportive atmosphere. Delegates raise the level of political discourse with their thoughtful, yet often controversial, remarks. Politically engaged and interested students from diverse backgrounds share their perspectives, learn from each other and have fun as they discuss, debate and socialize together.
For more information on the activities of the Scott High School JSA you may contact: