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2017 Civics Contest Winners Announced

The U.S. District Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California hosted a Civics Contest for high school students with the theme:  “Not to Be Forgotten: Legal Lessons of the Japanese Internment.”  Students in grades nine through twelve were asked to relate the legal history of the Japanese Internment to current government efforts to protect the nation against terrorism (Local Contest).  The focus of the essay and video contest was on constitutional conflicts that can arise when national security and individual rights are both at stake.  The Local Contest was held in conjunction with an essay and video competition sponsored by the Ninth Circuit for high school students in the Western United States (Ninth Circuit Contest).  

The following students were awarded prizes for their essays:

  • First place - $1,000:  Ian Xu, Arcadia High School in Arcadia;
  • Second place - $750:  Zachary Finkelstein, Dana Hills High School in Laguna Niguel; and
  • Third place - $500:  Danielle LaCorte, Agoura High School in Agoura.

The following students were awarded prizes for their videos:

  • First place - $1,000:  The team of Ian Xu, Cathleen Huang, and Jason Wang, Arcadia High School in Arcadia;
  • Second place - $750:  The team of Jennifer Ramirez, Alexandra Castillo, and Kimberly Barraza, Pacific High School in San Bernardino; and
  • Third place - $500:  Sophia Eberlein, a senior at Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades.

The first, second and third place essays and videos were automatically entered into the Ninth Circuit Contest to compete with winners from all other districts in the Ninth Circuit.  Winners of the Ninth Circuit Contest will receive $2,000 (first place); $1,000 (second place), and $500 (third place).  If a student wins the Local Contest and the Ninth Circuit Contest that student will receive up to a total of $3,000!  

Additional Recognition:  First place winners of the Local Contest and a parent/guardian will also receive round-trip airfare and two nights’ lodging to attend the annual Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in San Francisco where the Ninth Circuit Contest winners will be announced.    

The first place essay and first place video are accessible via these links: