By AIDAN ARASASINGHAM
UHS won the Chapter of the Year Award at the Junior State of America (JSA) Spring Conference. In addition, club president Safina Motiwala (Sr.) was named Statesperson of the Year.
To be selected for the Chapter of the Year Award, a chapter must present its accomplishments and goals to a panel of teacher advisers and program directors, who select the winning chapter out of a pool taken from the region.
“I remember going into the presentation room listening to the accomplishments of all the chapters running and just thinking that we’d already lost,” said Cali Bacino (Jr.). Although presentations were done well in advance, the results were only announced at the Spring State Convention.
“The moment University came out of her mouth I jumped out of my seat along with other Uni students, and we just gave each other the greatest group hug because we did it,” said Bacino.
Statesperson of the Year is awarded each year to a notable leader in the organization who embodies the values in the JSA motto, “Be the People.” Motiwala began her career in JSA as a sophomore, and since then she has been elected and appointed to several positions in the organization on and off campus. Motiwala was Mayor of the Southern Empire Region and is currently Chief of Staff to the Governor in JSA. She is also the President of UHS JSA’s chapter.
“Once she said my name, I immediately burst into tears because it just completely validated all of my experiences in JSA,” Motiwala said. “Out of at least three hundred graduating seniors, it was just such a rewarding experience that I won.”
“Safina undoubtedly deserved to with Statesperson of the Year, and I know she will continue to do great things, even after she graduates, and I’m so proud of her for receiving this award,” said Bacino.
According to Bacino, it was the work of this year’s chapter cabinet leadership team that allowed for the club to do so well. The team includes Bacino, Motiwala, Arni Daroy (Sr.), Nima Mozhgani (Sr.), Aastha Jha (Sr.), Tristan Malhotra (Sr.), Alisha Malkani (Sr.), Tanya Malkani (Sr.), Elise Rio (Sr.), Tanya Mozafari (Sr.) and Keyan Kazemian (Sr.).
JSA has also seen a large increase in membership over the past two years. UHS JSA brought the second-highest number of attendees in all of California to the Spring State Conference.
JSA has numerous on and off campus events each year, including three major conferences: Fall State, Winter Congress and Spring State. UHS JSA meets Mondays in Ms. Meredith Rubenstein’s (Social Science Dept.) room.