Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

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Central Junior State of America chapter travels to Washington, D.C. for conference

Senior+Reham+Fahad%2C+JSA+president%2C+speaks+at+the+groups+Winter+Congress+in+Washington%2C+D.C.
Photo Courtesy of Maddie Jones
Senior Reham Fahad, JSA president, speaks at the group’s Winter Congress in Washington, D.C.

Naperville Central’s Junior State of America (JSA) Chapter traveled to Washington, D.C. for their annual Winter Congress convention. The event lasted from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11 and included legislative debates and activism initiatives.

Normally, Central JSA’s three conventions (Fall State, Winter Congress and Spring State) are held throughout the Midwest JSA region. However, this year’s Winter Congress was held as a joint-convention with Southern California JSA and Northeastern State JSA. It was Central’s first time in D.C. since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We used to do [the] Winter Congress in the capital building in D.C.,” said senior Reham Fahad, the President of JSA. “But because of COVID, our contracts broke and so we haven’t been able to go back to D.C. But now, moving forward, every Winter Congress will be in Washington, D.C.”

During the convention, the members of the Naperville Central JSA became delegates and were split between pretend houses of Congress and Senate, where students debated legislation selected by Fahad, Midwest JSA Director of Debate.

“There were activism initiatives, which was [like a] create your own activism initiative, and the best one gets chosen and funded for people to go on and actually make it a real thing,” Fahad said.

Along with the activism initiatives and keynote speaker awards during the Convention, there were the serious and satirical topic debates running from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

“Everybody participated equally to improve their speaking skills as well as learn to get along with others that have differing opinions on things,” JSA sponsor Beth Griffith said.

Out of the 500 chapters that attended Winter Congress, Central had one of the highest participation rates, according to Fahad.

“I know three or four delegates from Central were the primary reason why bills failed because they were arguing,” Fahad said. “That was incredible to see; I’m seeing my students grow from how they talk at chapter meetings to how they talk at the conventions and how much confidence they spoke with to get these bills [failed] is pretty cool.”

JSA’s final convention of the year is Spring State, which runs from April 6-7 in Chicago.

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About the Contributor
C.J. Getting
C.J. Getting, News Editor
C.J. is a junior entering his third year on Staff for the Central Times. He’s always loved writing news, and is excited to work as the News Editor this year. When he’s not writing for CT, C.J. can be found captaining the Debate Team or helping out SAC or JSA. He also desperately needs to detox from volunteering. After graduation, C.J. hopes to major in Political Science and spend too much money on Law School someday.
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