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LegiSchool Project's essay contest winners


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The LegiSchool Project’s annual essay contest encourages students to engage in policy topics of particular importance to California. This year’s topic, “Gun Control vs. Gun Rights,” has been hotly debated by lawmakers in California for several decades.

The 18th annual contest gave students a chance to weigh in on the debate: Are tough gun laws making our communities safer? Have lawmakers implemented too many gun control laws? Who’s right and who’s wrong?

This year’s winners are:

  • Audrey Varo Garcia, Upland High School, Upland
  • Mercedes Hawkins, Oakland High School, Oakland
  • Paul Kiraly, Sequoia High School, Redwood City
  • Jasmine McKinley, Fremont High School, Oakland
  • Faye Ortiz, Academy of Our Lady of Peace, San Diego
  • Lucas Parker, Dehesa Charter School, Escondido
  • Roshan Plamthottam, Upland High School, Upland
  • Liliana Villarreal, Sierra Vista High School, Baldwin Park
  • Max Wofford, El Segundo High School, El Segundo
  • Mona Zahir, Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills

The winning essayists will travel to Sacramento for the Legislative Summit on Wednesday, April 9, where they have a chance to talk to lawmakers about the topic, tour the Capitol and learn firsthand about the legislative process.

The LegiSchool Project is a civic education collaboration between Sacramento State and the State Legislature, administered by the Center for California Studies.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Alan Miller