The U.S. District Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California hosted a Civics Contest (Local Contest) for high school students with the theme: “The Right to Vote: Milestone Anniversaries.” Students in grades nine through twelve were asked to write an essay or produce a short video addressing the following: “In the wake of the 15th and 19th Amendments, barriers remained to prevent United States citizens from voting. Do formal or informal barriers remain today? What additional changes would you make, if any, to Americans’ voting rights?” 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 submitted the top essays:
- First place – $1,000: Olivia Chen of Arcadia High School
- Second place – $750: Elizabeth Yeh of Arcadia High School
- Third place – $500: Genna Gams of Agoura High School
- Fourth place – Honorable mention: Stephen Dai of Arcadia High School
- Fifth place – Honorable mention: Jessica Chiriboga of Glendora High School
The following students submitted the top videos:
- First place – $1,000: Fatima Laureano, Karina Patel, and Yadira Garcia of Rubidoux High School
- Second place – $750: Justine Fisher and Riley Fisher of La Cañada High School
- Third place – $500: Celine Yang, Maria Solis, and Karen Patel of Rubidoux High School
- Fourth place – Honorable mention: Doanh Gia Luong of Grover Cleveland Charter High School
- Fifth place – Honorable mention: Emily Sosa-HernÃ¡ndez of North Torrance High School
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, who received $2,000 (first place); $1,000 (second place), and $500 (third place), were announced on June 30, 2020. Olivia Chen, who won first place for her essay in the Local Contest won second place in the Ninth Circuit Contest and she will receive a total of $2,000!