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OHS Essay Writers Dominate Contest
Top 3 Winners
Oakdale High School students from left, Madison Lane, Elizabeth Erwin and Chandni Mistry swept the top three places in the American Heritage Scholarship Series essay contest. Erwin won the top scholarship of $2,000, while Lane and Mistry each received a $1,500 scholarship. They were recognized with several other OHS students at an awards ceremony on Nov. 20. - photo by Photo Contributed

Oakdale High School students comprised 11 out of 19 award recipients and swept the top three spots at the recent awards ceremony for the American Heritage Scholarship Series essay contest.

Sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) and other entities, 166 high school juniors and seniors from nine high schools throughout the county participated in the essay competition. A total of $10,000 in scholarships awards were presented, which included one $2,000 scholarship, two $1,500 scholarships, two $1,000 scholarships, four $500 scholarships, and ten $100 cash awards.

The OHS students listed below received scholarship awards.

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Erwin won the $2,000 scholarship award with Madison Lane and Chandni Mistry each receiving the $1,500 award. Janki Mistry received a $1,000 award. Sara Kim and Chris Ng each received $500 awards. Emma Andreini, Hayley Benson, Jonna Pagaduan, Joshua Tanis, and Melissa Van Dyke were $100 prize winners.

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 Series. In an Oct. 9 presentation, Dr. Keith W. Smith from the University of the Pacific focused on the 2012 presidential election and if the media advanced or hindered voters’ ability to make an informed decision. Students had to support their responses with information from the presentation, their knowledge of U.S. History and government, and cite a minimum of two other sources.

A group of local educators, editors, community leaders, Superior Court judges and representatives from the legal community judged the essays.