At this past weekend’s Southern California Junior State of America Spring State Convention, the John Burroughs High School JSA Chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year. John Burroughs JSA shared the award with Corona Del Mar High School JSA in Newport Beach, CA. Chapters were judged in five categories: political awareness, civic engagement/activism, leadership, community service and JSA participation.
Over the course of the 2011-2012 Burroughs JSA has hosted guest speakers from all levels of government. These speakers have included Rep. Adam Schiff, State Senator Carol Liu, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Beverly Hills City Councilman Barry Brucker and Burbank City Councilman Gary Bric.
Burroughs JSA debates every Thursday at lunch that school is in session. Debates this school year have included: should Walmart be allowed to open in Burbank, moving John Burroughs High School graduation back to Memorial Field, should marijuana be legalized and regulated, do video games promote violence, and should the school district tell students how many calories are in the food they eat for lunch. These debates have attracted upward of 140 students and are usually attended by 40 to 60 students.
On Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, March 17, John Burroughs JSA hosted students from Southern California high school in a day of debates and political discussions. State Senator Carol Liu was the featured guest speaker at the March 17 event. Burroughs JSA was the only Junior State chapter to hold two conferences this school year.
In giving back to the community, Burroughs JSA raised over $700 in November of 2011 for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. In March and April of 2012, Burroughs JSA collected over 200 books in a book drive to assist the John Burroughs High School Library.
Junior State of America is the nation’s oldest student-run youth organization. Junior State of America is a non-partisan organization dedicated to educating high schools students about the institutions of democratic society. For over 75 years, Junior State has not only brought high school students together to debate and discuss important issues, but has fostered these concepts by giving students the opportunity to learn through being civic leaders.