Civics Contest Finalists Announced

Judging has been completed in the 2022 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest for high school students in the Western United States, and two Pacific Island jurisdictions. In all, the circuit received 800 essays and 112 videos this year. The District of Nevada
entered 191 essays and nine videos!

This year’s contest focused on students’ free speech rights. The contest challenged students to address “What are students’ free speech rights – and responsibilities – on and off campus?” Participants were asked to consider what rights the First Amendment
provides to students engaging in free speech, both inside and outside of school.

The contest was open to high school students in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The finalists selected for the local contest sponsored by the U.S. District Court for the
District of Nevada are:

Essay category

1st place – Dominico Granieri of Reno High School (Dominico was also one of 12 essays for final consideration by the circuit.) – Essay 81-282

2nd place – Kaitlyn Hong of Reno High School – Essay 52-245

3rd place – Sanjay Soni of West Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas – Essay 190-1127

Video category

1st place – Benjamin Rock, Lupita Ramirez and Kenny Mirzayan of Incline High School in Incline Village – Link to Video

2nd place – Meghan Roussel and Elyse Welsh of Galena High School in Reno – Link to Video

3rd place – Kailey Russell, Krissy Shaw and Josie Sawyer of Galena High School in Reno. – Link to Video

District-level prizes consist of $1,000, $750, and $500 for the top three essays and videos.

Out of the 912 total entries received, 42 essays and 29 videos were selected to advance to the next round for consideration by judges, court staff and members of the bar. The Ninth Circuit Public Information and Community Outreach (PICO) Committee determined the final winners at the circuit level, which were announced on June 2, 2022. PICO is responsible for organizing and sponsoring the contest together with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the 15 federal judicial district that comprise the circuit. At the circuit level, prizes of $3,000, $1,700 and $1,000 were awarded to the first, second and third place winners in both the essay and video competition.