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Five KHS juniors headed to JSA Summer School

Five Kofa High School students plan to attend Junior State of America Summer School programs at Princeton University, Georgetown University and Stanford University in July.

KHS juniors Leilani Wesley, Justin Galvez, Joshua Garay, Carolina Gonzalez and Chris Freebairn are taking part in the three-week program that spans some of the world’s most prestigious universities. Which program they attend, depends on their area of interest.

“It helps us learn about college life and how things work,” said Garay, who will attend the Stanford Summer School program to study macroeconomics. “Every day it’s about 8 hours of intensive classes and workshops. You’ll also get a chance to network and build your resume. It will help apply for colleges, and Stanford is one of my college choices.”

As part of the program students will earn Advanced Placement credit in selected courses, ranging from comparative government and politics to international relations to speech and political communication. Overall, the program offers eight areas of interest for attending students.

Placement in the program is competitive. In order to be accepted, the students were required to fill out a rigorous application including obtaining letters of recommendation, submitting high school transcripts and write two essays.

While tuition for the program costs $5,450, it covers room and board, transportation to off-campus engagements, such as a presentation at Google Headquarters, and all textbooks needed for courses and program administration. KHS students have used a Go Fund Me account (https://www.gofundme.com/jsasummerschool) to attempt to help raise funds. They have also submitted letters to local businesses soliciting donations.

“The money we raise will go towards paying each of our tuition to these programs as well as transportation,” Garay said. “Every donation is a big help.”

Here is a closer look at all five KHS students:

Wesley: I am involved in JSA, Key club, NHS and am part of the chess varsity team. I earn straight A’s and have taken five AP classes which has raised my GPA to a 4.3. I will be taking AP Macroeconomics in Stanford as part of the JSA summer program. My goal is to study at Stanford University and this program will allow me to experience living on the campus of my dream school.

Galvez: I take part in my schools Chess club, JSA chapter, and NHS. I am an A student with a GPA of 4.3. This summer I plan to take an AP macroeconomics class at Stanford. Outside of school I take a judo and piano class through Arizona Western College.

Garay: I am on my high school’s varsity chess team, Academic Decathlon Honors Team, and am both the secretary for my JSA chapter at Kofa (the largest chapter in Arizona) as well as the Fundraising Director for JSA Arizona. I am a straight A and AP student with a current GPA of 4.23 which goes to show my devotion to becoming a well-educated person in order to become successful in life. Through JSA’s summer school program, I will be taking AP Macroeconomics at Stanford. I plan to attend an Ivy League university in the future where I will most likely major in Pre-Law in order to become a lawyer, and later on in life run for Congress.

Gonzalez: I am an A and B student with a GPA of 3.76. I am a current and active member of the chess club, French club, National Honors Society, and JSA. I aspire to attend the JSA Princeton Summer School Program to broaden my horizons. 

Freebairn: I am taking AP Literature, and am also a competitor in Academic Decathlon. I take my studies serious and I love to work hard to achieve my goals, which is why I would love to attend summer school at Georgetown. I am also a current member of JSA, participate in community work at homeless shelters and at the Crossroad Mission, and take part in the Kofa drama performances.

According to its website, JSA Summer School gives students access to rigorous college-level classes on the campuses of some of the most prestigious universities in the world. In addition to classes in topics like international relations, constitutional law and speech & political communication, speakers programs, debate workshops, and social activities help equip students with vital leadership skills while forming lasting friendships and memories. For more information on the program, visit: http://summer.jsa.org/programs/summer-school/

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org