In Preliminary judging for high school students in the western United States, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, HBA Sophomore Alyssa Young took second place for her essay submitted to the 2020 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest for the District of Hawaii. Despite complications stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, there were nearly 1,000 students ranging in ages from 9-12thgrade who submitted entries. Applicants were tasked with writing a response to the theme, “The Right to Vote: Milestone Anniversaries,” that encompassed questions centered around any formal or informal barriers within our voting system as well as the amendments and court rulings passed to prevent them.
Young’s essay was titled “Privilege to Vote”and she wrote about the amendments and laws that were passed in order to have more equality in voting rights. She also discussed the pros and cons of being able to vote at the age of 18 and emphasized how voting is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
An extra credit assignment for English 10, Young found the topic interesting and encourages fellow students to enter similar contests, “even if you don’t think you will win, or you’re not the best at it you should still give it a shot because you never know what will happen,” stated Young.
The Fifteen federal courts within the Ninth Circuit that held local contests will now advance their finalists to the circuit-wide competition. The Ninth Circuit is the largest and busiest in the Nation and this is its 6thessay contest to date which is held to express the Ninth Circuit’s long-standing commitment to civics education. At the circuit-wide level, prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 are awarded to the first-, second- and third place winners. There are 94 district courts, 13 circuit courts (12 of which are regional), and one Supreme Court throughout the U.S.
Congratulations to sophomore Alyssa Young on winning being a finalist in the 2020 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest for the District of Hawaii.