JSA is a national, nonpartisan, and student-led organization centered around political debate, leadership, government, civic engagement, and activism. JSA’s mission is to strengthen democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society. Each JSA state (we’re in the Northeast State) has three overnight conventions per year where students debate relevant and topical issues, participate in activism initiatives, act in and observe mock trials, talk to other students in “thought talks,” and listen to fascinating speakers and panelists. Conventions are life-changing for many students; they teach us how to be leaders, how to engage in civil discourse, how to talk about important issues with people with whom we disagree, how to take action.
Even the simple weekly meetings at Staples are instrumental in helping our students grow. Meetings are safe places where students can debate, discuss, and learn without being judged. JSA is the perfect haven for young people to form their political understandings and beliefs.
Our winter overnight convention is called Winter Congress, and it takes place in Washington, D.C. Attendees are divided into Houses and Senates, and they debate and vote on bills previously written and submitted by their peers. Bills that pass go to our U.S. Congress. Students also have time to bond with other students from all over the Northeast and Southeast and explore Washington, D.C. with new and old friends.
Over the past few years, both the membership and financial status of our JSA chapter has been declining. We want Westport to know about the opportunities that are available to Staples students thanks to JSA, and we firmly believe that every student should have access to the incredible opportunities JSA provides us, regardless of their financial status.
In order to maintain our chapter and continue to provide Westport youth with the opportunities to grow as leaders and as people, we will need help from our community.
Any money donated will first and foremost go to help Staples students who would otherwise struggle to afford convention costs attend conventions. Donations will also strengthen the Staples JSA chapter’s meetings and in turn its future. Thank you so much for your generosity, and happy holidays!