During October 28-29 weekend, Pilibos high school scholars took part in the Junior State of America’s (JSA) Fall State Los Angeles convention. JSA is a student-run organization that provides a safe forum for students to discuss and debate over critical and crucial topics that affect today’s world. Topics can range anywhere from abortion, to Kurds obtaining a permanent nation state, to the merits and implications of avocado toast for millennials. JSA bolsters numerous topics where all participants gain confidence in public speaking and debating and acquire a certain level of knowledge and expertise in areas they would otherwise not have had the chance to explore.
Pilibos’s participation in the fall event was truly exceptional. Once again, Pilibos scholars represented the largest chapter at the event, with approximately seventy scholars in attendance. Nine scholars, Aren Melkonian, Ara Yacoubian, Anthony Antonyan, Aren Dersarkissian, Kami Arabian, Arek Der Sarkissian, Harout Darzian, Nareh Aghakhanian, Mischa Gureghian Hall, and Kyle Kalindjian won Best Speaker awards; moreover, some students received multiple awards, accumulating to a grand total of thirteen Best Speaker awards. Pilibos continues to improve and excel in the performance at the JSA competitions. Each year the number of participants increase as do the quality of speeches and the level of confidence in Pilibos scholars public speaking and debating abilities.
During the Fall State Competition, Pilibos students were also able to pass a bill, mandating the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in all public schools. This bill passed with flying colors and was added to the JSA constitution.
Pilibos continues to work hard to hone and perfect the research, writing, and public speaking skills of its Scholars for the next JSA event - Winter Congress. We cannot wait to see what Pilibos Scholars will accomplish this time around in February.
By Anthony Antonyan