Mount Carmel School senior Justin Ocampo was recently recognized at Stanford University by the Junior Statesmen of America, or JSA, as the most outstanding moderator.
Ocampo was selected from over a hundred students for the award, which recognizes JSA statesmen for their mastery of debate and parliamentary procedures.
This past summer was Ocampo’s first time participating in the JSA program, which was created by and for young people interested in what happens around them—from politics, to how government works, and contributing to their community.
Since its founding in 1934, JSA has served as a place where students build leadership skills, learn civil debate, and strengthen their engagement through volunteering and activism. More than 500,000 students have graduated high school as more active, informed members of their community as a result of their participation in JSA.
According to Ocampo, “I enjoyed the debates because I got along well with everyone, who brought unique perspectives on social justice that I may have never considered before JSA. …I recommend JSA for anyone that wants to learn more about their world around them, especially if you’re coming from an island like me.”
As a Mount Carmel Knight, Ocampo was not alone at this summer’s JSA program. He was joined by fellow senior Reica Ramirez, who also happened to be one of a few recipients of the U.S. Department of Interior JSA scholarships.
Ramirez echoed Ocampo’s sentiments and urged others to also apply for the program. “You will be able to find your voice and see other people’s perspectives about issues you may have not thought about before.” She added, “You also realize how important it is to fight apathy and for issues that you believe in.” (PR)