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LD Students Learning the Political Process


The Lake Dallas High Junior Statesman chapter sent representatives to the state fall conference in Austin during the Thanksgiving break. Joining over 500 delegates from all over the state, seniors Marie-Louise Nkashama, Nick Olivares, Seamus Farrell and Megan Palmer along with sponsor Mr. Joseph Kysiak attended the conference.

Junior State of America (JSA) is the largest student-run organization in the country with over 50,000 members. JSA and the Junior Statesmen Foundation were created for students with interest in politics, government, foreign affairs, law and education. The mission is to educate and prepare high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.

At the fall convention, attendees participate in many activities including debates and mock Supreme Court trials. Marie-Louise Nkashama moderated a debate on Space Exploration Funding in one of our capitol's congressional committee rooms, and Seamus Farrell presented a response to the Deportation of Illegal Immigrants debate. 

Debates are the most important aspect of the Junior State because it gives delegates a forum to express their views in an organized fashion, while also promoting a clash of ideas that leads to deeper understanding of controversial issues.  JSA uses parliamentary debate style so that delegates develop political awareness, attitudes and public speaking skills through participation.

At the end of each debate, students vote for the “Best Speaker,” but the main focus of Junior State debate is on persuading the audience and imparting a greater understanding of the issues involved, rather than competition between speakers.

The LDHS Chapter has been active this year. See photos from their debate meetings and the convention: