This story was originally published in the Fall 2010 issue of Harker Quarterly
As the students return, pumped up for the coming year, Saagar Sarin, grade 11 and Erica Woolsey, grade 12, copresidents of Harker’s chapter of Junior State of America (JSA), gear up for a year filled with various ways to engage the Harker community in current events and politics.
Looking back on the last few years, Sarin and Woolsey noted a recent decrease in participation, and the duo hopes to turn things around. “More than anything, JSA leadership has been getting ready for what we think will be a ‘comeback’ year for the club,” said Sarin, who was elected Speaker of the Assembly at the Northern California Spring State 2010 convention in April. “We are looking forward to laying the foundation that will bring JSA back to prominence.”
There is no time to rest for the returning members of Harker JSA. Woolsey and Sarin aim to engage students in active discussion through both chapter and statewide activities. Kicking off with the club fair, JSA will be hosting various events throughout the fall semester, including the annual Pizza and Politics event.
“Our main goal with [Pizza and Politics] is to encourage everyone in the student body to be politically aware, not just members of JSA,” Woolsey said. “We want to increase membership in the upcoming year and keep JSA interesting.” The chapter will also be participating in the annual Fall State Convention, “Energizing America: Capturing the Winds of Change,” in Santa Clara the weekend of Nov. 20-21.
Sarin looks forward to leading the movement in increasing participation. “JSA has made a huge impact on my life, and it’s one of the things I enjoy most about high school; I really want to spread that joy to my peers,” Sarin said.
Similarly, Woolsey is excited to explore creative ways and innovative ideas to keep the student body interested in politics. “Our generation has a lot of political apathy, and JSA attempts to fight that,” she said. “We want to make politics interesting.”