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Become an Expert. Get Involved. Make a Difference.

Explore today’s pressing policy challenges with the decision makers who are shaping the future. Gain the knowledge and skills required to make a difference with the issues that affect you the most. JSA Summer Institutes create an interactive learning environment with elected officials, policy makers, business leaders, journalists, lobbyists and others. You’ll gain an understanding of how government works and learn how you can get involved, all while sharing opinions and solutions with other high school students.  Join other politically aware and active students at these 3 or 4 day programs:

Institute on Arizona Leadership & Politics

Arizona State University

Downtown campus in Phoenix, Arizona

Gene Burd Institute on Los Angeles Media and Politics

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Los Angeles, California

Institute on New Jersey Leadership & Politics

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

California Institute on Leadership & Politics

University of California – Davis

Davis, California

What is a JSA Summer Institute?

Bringing together an exciting Speakers Program with interactive student activities, JSA Summer Institutes offer a unique perspective on the political issues challenging us today. During the program, you will meet and question leaders who make and influence public policy – elected officials from all branches of government, journalists, lobbyists and political power brokers. This experience of real world politics is complemented by student-run debates, political simulations and social activities on campus.

Delve into the important issues of our generation

A focus on specific issues drives each Institute, giving students a chance to become experts in the topic of their choice. From the cutting edge technologies of the Green Economy to the critical challenges of National Security, Institute students will go beyond the sound bites offered by media pundits to gain a complete understanding of important issues directly from the decision makers and power brokers who shape public policy.

At the Institutes, you will get:

  • An opportunity to explore and debate today’s hot button issues with elected officials and high school student leaders.

  • A behind the scenes look at politics in action and the decision-making that drives local and state government.

  • A chance to polish your leadership and speaking skills so that you can play a more active role in school and community affairs.

  • A sneak preview of college life and the chance to make friends with students who share your interest in politics.

The Institute Community

Institute students represent the entire spectrum of political thought. Participants are involved in student government, journalism, debate and a wide range of activities at their own schools. Come prepared to participate in fiery debates and rousing discussions about current events with a diverse and interesting group of students.

Educational Staff provide guidance and supervision throughout the program. Led by the Institute Director, our experienced staff will be housed in the same residence as the students and will be responsible for the group’s health and well-being 24 hours a day. Standards of conduct are high and generally the same as those governing school-sponsored trips.

The College Experience

From the state-of-the-art facilities of UCLA to the ivy-covered cloisters of Princeton University, the Institutes offer an exciting glimpse of college campus life. During the program, you will share a room in a residence hall with a roommate, eat some meals on campus and participate in evening activities in university classrooms. Designed for a select group of high school students from each state, a JSA Summer Institute is the perfect opportunity to preview the college experience.

Application Requirement

Student must provide a 500-750 word essay on the topic: “A Political Issue of Importance to Me.”