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JSA Assembles at Winter Congress

Erica D. advocates for bill on reforming the police training system. (Courtesy/Dr. Jacky)

Junior State of America (JSA) is a national student-led organization mimicking the United States government. Through debates, problem-solving, and simulations, high schoolers experience the workings of a democracy by being involved in public issues. 

Academy is part of the Ohio River Valley (ORV) JSA state with schools from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. ORV members elect a governor and cabinet members to lead state-wide events. The cabinet  includes ten departments with ten directors and 20 specialists to ensure  events flow smoothly. Cabinet members from Academy include Alex N. as the lieutenant governor and Colin H. directing the CIA.  

ORV hosts three conventions each year: Fall State, Winter Congress, and Spring State. After attending a successful Fall State at the Renaissance Columbus Westerville-Polaris Hotel in November of 2022, JSA returned to action on February 18-19. Dr. Jacky and Mrs. Adkins accompanied 13 students to the JW Marriott in Indianapolis.

Winter Congress follows the structure of the United States Congress with students divided into the Senate and House of Representatives. During the two-day event, student delegates reviewed and debated bill proposals. Two speakers debated each bill in the Senate and the House: one supporting  and one rebutting. If the bill passes both houses, it gets sent to the JSA National Cabinet and may be adopted as an official position of the organization. Eighteen bills were reviewed, and eight passed.

Bill proposals ranged from enforcing a maximum age limit for public office to reducing poverty in America. Arnav N. and Clara S. recommended refurbishing community centers passed. and Erica D. and Sophie L. bill on reforming the police training system passed. Sophie L. exclaims, “Erica and I spent nine hours before Winter Congress working on our bill, so I am very glad that it paid off!” 

To celebrate notable individuals, JSA awarded the Best Speaker in each bill-debating session.

Congratulations to Erica D., Colin H., Sophie L., Alex N., Arnav N., and Clara S. for receiving the Best Speaker awards.

Aside from congressional business, JSA provided evening activities including karaoke and board games to bond with students from other school members. Academy students explored the city and tried local restaurants such as Social Cantina during their free time.

Erica D. says, “Winter Congress was super fun, and it was great getting to discuss with people of different viewpoints. I encourage everyone to try it out!”


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