Marianas HS student receives Junior States of America Best Speaker Award

By Lori Lyn Lirio

(File photo) Kelvin Wolf showing his awards

MARIANAS High School student Kelvin Wolf received the Best Speaker Award last June during JSA summer program at Princeton University.

Wolf, a MHS senior, said he was one of the few students from the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Island who attended the JSA summer program.

Established in 1934, JSA operates on high school campuses nationwide as an extracurricular activity. During the summer, JSA offers pre-college experience through summer schools and institutes.



Summer schools are hosted on the campuses of Georgetown, Princeton, and Stanford universities. The program offers a college-level curriculum that includes advanced courses in government, politics, history and public speaking.

“We spent one month taking advanced courses – either macro economics, speech and political communication and others. It condenses the entire college course into that one month. It gives you the college-level experience,” Wolf explained.

During his junior year, he started applying for the JSA program and got accepted at Princeton University.

“The award I received was the JSA best speaker award. In addition to the course you take, there’s also a debate workshop,” he said, adding all students were divided into four houses.

“I was in House A. In my house, I was deemed the best speaker in the debate workshop,” he said.

Wolf made it to the final debate. He said the final two teams competed and debated on the issue: “weather or not social media platforms should be held accountable for the news accuracy on the website.”

“The people that received the JSA best speaker award were two students from each of the debate houses that competed in the final debate,” he said. (Wolf is one of the two).

According to Wolf, it was his first time and his final opportunity to participate in the JSA program.

“I came there with the intent to learn and receiving that award told me ‘you learned, you came and you did your best’,” Wolf said.


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Lori Lyn Lirio
Lori Lyn C. Lirio is a veteran newshen having worked for the People's Journal Tonight for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. She currently writes for the Marianas Variety, Saipan's number one community paper. .

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