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New JSA Club Encourages Civic Engagement for Students

Southern Lehigh’s JSA is a part of a larger, national organization.

Junior State of America

Southern Lehigh’s JSA is a part of a larger, national organization.

Sarah Jacobson, Our World Editor

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One of Southern Lehigh High School’s newest clubs, the Junior State of America (JSA), is prepped and ready to help students explore civic engagement. The club held its first meeting at the start of this school year, with its main purpose to explore the political realm.

Juniors Bridgette Lang and Hannah Grim are the founders of the club. They both enjoy talking and learning about politics, and wanted to provide a space for students to do the same. The Junior State of America is bipartisan, so students from all political viewpoints are welcome to attend.

“There were no current bipartisan political discussion clubs [in the school], and I’ve heard from other students that it’s something they would like to see, so Hannah Grim and I decided to take action,” Lang said.

Right now, the club is trying to plan out some activities for the rest of the year, including political discussions, guest speakers, and government lessons.

“We’re thinking about having a campaign next year to encourage students to sign up to vote,” club historian Christine Reichard said. “In the future, we might go to an official Junior State of America event where other chapters would be and engage with other members of the community.”

JSA is a chapter of a national organization. Its purpose at the national level is to educate high school students about political leadership and civic engagement.

The club’s founders have big goals for JSA, such as creating a safe environment where everyone can freely speak their opinion, and increasing political awareness and involvement within the school.

“Bridgette and I want our club members to develop their leadership and public speaking skills, and for them to be more active citizens of the community,” Grim said. “Hopefully throughout the year they get involved in the debates and volunteer opportunities we’ll have soon.”

The JSA holds its meetings during Spartan Period in social studies teacher Mr. Brian Dow’s room.

“I think it’s important to give students an outlet to get involved and express themselves when it comes to politics and civic engagement,” Mr. Dow said. “There’s so much going on right now that I think it’s important for students to have a club where they can talk about the issues. If not here, then where?”

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New JSA Club Encourages Civic Engagement for Students