A Philanthropic Milestone in LA
Thursday, May 28th, 2015 @ 6:17PM
The Junior State of America holds numerous events for alumni and supporters in LA, including its first-ever fundraising event in 2006. Now an annual event, the LA spring fundraiser attracts new supporters every year, and this spring was no exception. In addition to supporting general funds for JSA, the event celebrated a growing partnership between JSA and the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, an LA-based charter network.
On Saturday, May 16th, Junior State held its 2015 spring fundraiser in Los Angeles. Over 100 people attended and the event raised over $230,000, making it the most successful fundraiser in the Junior Statesmen Foundation’s history. Funds raised will underwrite summer scholarships and provide general support to the Foundation. In addition to JSA alumni, teacher-advisors and other supporters, many current Junior State student leaders were in attendance, imbuing the afternoon with the energy and vitality JSA events have become known for.
The event featured a panel led by Matt Miller, public radio’s popular longtime host of “Left, Right & Center.” Miller led three JSA students in an energetic discussion of issues including education reform and relations between police departments and their communities. The student panel showcased the Junior State’s mission of building future leaders through engaging students in civics, growing their self-confidence and public speaking skills and teaching them to have open and honest dialogue about tough political issues.
Rachel Kaganoff Stern, Junior Statesmen Foundation Vice President and the host of the fundraiser, hailed the event as an exciting step forward in JSA’s partnership with the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, the largest nonprofit charter school organization in Los Angeles which runs 26 public High Schools and Middle Schools and serves 11,000 low-income students. “In two short years,” she said, “we’ve gone from JSA chapters on two Alliance campuses to chapters on six campuses with over 200 Alliance students attending JSA’s overnight conventions. We are thrilled that with the success of this fundraiser we will be able to provide the Alliance Schools with 15 full scholarships to JSA Summer Schools and 40 full scholarships to JSA Summer Institutes.”
During the event Rachel Kaganoff Stern, who sits on the Board of Directors for both organizations, spoke from the heart about her experience volunteering with JSA’s student-run school-year program, especially with JSA students and teachers from the Alliance network. She also told the story of how JSA scholarships impacted her personally. An active member of JSA’s school year program during her high school years in California, she was able to attend JSA’s Summer Programs only with the help of significant scholarship support. Today she’s committed to inspiring others to support JSA by highlighting the many ways these programs impact the lives of teenagers across the United States.