Ten high school students from the Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands went to the Northern Marianas to join the Junior State of America Civics Institute Micronesia earlier this month. Nia Wase, a student at Majuro Cooperative School, was the sole RMI representative.
For the second time, Northern Marianas College was chosen to serve as the program’s host institution. During this one-week summer program, high school students were exposed to some of the most important problems that the Pacific is currently facing and are challenged to see past their differences in order to concentrate on practical solutions. The students also took college-level courses on Media and Democracy instructed by journalist Thomas Mangloña II.
The JSA is the oldest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in the country, with a mission to provide high school students with the knowledge and leadership skills they need to be successful in debate and civic engagement. The organization has run summer programs at prestigious universities like Stanford University, Pepperdine University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, Northwestern University, and American University for many years.
Mangloña told Mariana Variety News that the students have engaged with issues that affect democracy. “They’ve selected topics such as domestic violence, government corruption, and discrimination to focus on this week and have not shied away from asking hard questions or having hard conversations. People often say the youth are our next generation of leaders, but JSA proves that they have arrived and are already leading.”
The JSA participants visited and chatted with the Governor of the Northern Marianas, Arnold Palacios, last Wednesday.