The Junior State of America (JSA), a nationwide, student-run organization, has always been known for devoting its efforts towards instilling political awareness in today’s youth.
On February 2, 2008, Temple City High School’s JSA chapter continued to uphold this reputation by hosting its annual Mini-Convention, themed “Rising Above Apathy”. The event attracted nearly one hundred high school students from across southern California, including those from Bishop Amat Memorial High School, Marina High School, and several others.
The day was highlighted by a guest appearance from Ken Maxey, Deputy Political Director of the Democratic National Party. In accordance with the convention’s title, Maxey stressed the fact that “we have to get our young people involved [in politics]”.
Over the course of the Mini-Con, students had the opportunity to engage in various political discussions and debates regarding the issues that face us today, like abortion, border control, and civil unions. One event even featured a presidential candidate simulation, in which students played the parts of the United States’ next presidential hopefuls while answering questions from an intrigued audience.
Throughout the day, the recurring theme appeared to be that, although many people are discontent with the current political situation, very few actively pursue any change. Students realized that there is a big difference between believing in something and acting on behalf of those convictions, which was emphasized by the Director of Special Activities.
To close out the convention, JSA Co-Presidents Patricia Chou and Evelyn Kessler encouraged the attendees, many of whom will be of voting age by November 2008, to sustain their interest and involvement in politics.
This article was written by Jason Wu. It was published in the Temple City Voice on February 13, 2007.