This fall, 137 high school juniors and seniors from throughout the county participated in the American Heritage Scholarship Series essay contest. Nineteen students were honored for their essays at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 17. A total of $10,000 in scholarships awards were presented including one $2,000 scholarship; two $1,500 scholarships; two $1,000 scholarships; four $500 scholarships and 10 $100 scholarships.
Oakdale High School students recognized for their work were: Christian Armstrong, Emma Boggs, Jenna Ingles, Austin Romito, Sarah Sorenson and Ethan Yeaman.
The American Heritage Scholarship is possible thanks to the support of organizations and individuals who contribute to the success of the program. Scholarship sponsors include: Jack and Pam Able; Alpine Pacific Nut Co.; Arata, Swingle, Sodhi & Van Egmond; Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo; Bank of Stockton-Modesto Commerce Branch; Harry and Donna Bakker; Dean and Elizabeth Doerksen; Mike Dunbar; E. & J. Gallo Winery; James and Julie Goodwin; Curtis and Nancy Grant; Kathy Hobby; Kiwanis of Greater Turlock; Law Offices of Frank M. Lima; Martin and Sharon Petersen; Mocse Credit Union; Charles and Catherine Quittmeyer; Fred and Susan Rich; Col. and Mrs. John S. Rogers, USAF (RET.); Varco Pruden; Sue and Lynn Zwahlen.
Teaching students and adults to think critically about issues affecting the United States, and increasing their awareness of what it means to be an American, are the goals of the American Heritage Scholarship Program. In a Sept. 22 presentation, Kirk McAllister and Ruben Villalobos focused on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the right to trial by jury. Students had to discuss whether or not they believed juries were “past their prime.” The students were asked to support their responses with information from the presentation, their knowledge of U.S. History and government, and cite a minimum of three other scholarly sources.
An audience of community members and students attended the presentation.
“This program continues to be an outstanding model of community collaboration,” said Tom Changnon, Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools. “I believe it is a model in highlighting the importance of the civic mission of public education.”
A group of local educators, editors, community leaders, Superior Court Judges and representatives from the legal community judged the essays.