Program leads to possibilities
Jared Lang | Highlands TodayI love my summer as much as the next kid. Especially right now when the school year is rolling full steam ahead, the thought of a three-month break makes my mouth water. Whenever I can though, I try to find constructive ways to spend my time off. That's why I applied for the Junior State of America Junior Statesmen Summer Program.
Published: February 20, 2013
Published: February 20, 2013
Junior State of America is a student-run youth organization — the largest of its kind — that focuses on providing high school students with leadership skills, political knowledge and debate experience. High schools all around America have their own JSA chapters. These chapters conduct local activities, which consist of political discussion, community outreach and quiz bowls. Students from these chapters also attend regional conventions to engage in more stimulating political debate, network with other students and listen to keynote speakers.
In the second week of January, I decided to fill out an application on the JSA website for the Junior Statesmen Summer Program. Aside from general information, I needed to provide my transcripts, a teacher recommendation and an essay about a political issue I feel strongly about. I wrote my essay about hyper-partisanship in Washington and turned in the rest of my application. After weeks of anticipation, I found out Monday morning that I was accepted into the program.
For three weeks this summer, I will take an Advanced Placement course — AP United States Government — at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. My time spent in Washington will be split between studying for my rigorous class and exploring the nation's capital.
I will have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, the White House and the Pentagon. The summer program at Georgetown also has an amazing speakers program that allows students to meet some of Washington's most influential figures. Past speakers have included Barack Obama, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Harry Reid and Katie Couric. Since I am considering applying to Georgetown, I cannot begin to express my excitement over being accepted into this program.
As it is such a great opportunity to attend the Junior Statesmen Summer Program, there are obviously various costs involved. In order to attend the program, I need to raise about $5,000 in the next couple of months. This money will cover tuition, room and board, transportation and other expenses. I plan on reaching out to individuals and organizations around the community but will gladly accept any donations. Five thousand dollars is a lot of money but every little bit counts. If you are interested in helping me reach my goal, I can be emailed at email@example.com.
Three weeks is a lot of time out of my summer, but I believe it will be time well spent. AP U.S. Government is a demanding class that will undoubtedly benefit my future endeavors studying law and political science in college. Not only will I do the coursework, but also I will gain firsthand experience of how Washington works. I hope to make connections with influential leaders and maybe even open the door for a future internship.
I believe that the most important thing in life is meeting the right people. Networking with other aspiring leaders and even current politicians is an invaluable prospect.