Three videos and three essays by Montana students have chosen as finalists in the 2020 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest for high school students.
The Montana winners in each category receive cash prizes of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place and advance to the circuit-wide contest, where there will also be cash prizes for the top three in each category. The
Montana winners are:
Essays: First place, Zach Mangels, Billings Skyview High School; second place, Zander Opperman, Gardiner Public School; third place, Hannah Martin, Corvallis High School.
Videos: First place, Nathaniel Broch, Corvallis High School; second place, Abigail Clark, Fort Benton High School; and third place, Monse Arvayo, Fort Benton High School.
The contest’s theme was “The Right to Vote: Milestone Anniversaries.” Students in grades 9- 12 in public, private and parochial schools and home-schooled students of equivalent grade status were challenged to write an essay or produce a short video with the questions presented: “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?”
Federal courts in the 15 western United States, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands held local contests with winners advancing to the final round to compete in the circuit-wide competition. Nearly 1,000 young people entered the contest, despite challenges posed by school closures and distance learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 38 essays and 27 videos selected to advance to the final round. Winners were to be announced in late June.