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CHS Students ‘Make Change’ With Writing

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Students from across CUSD schools ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade had the opportunity to honor and express their very own thoughts on the victories of various social justice leaders and movements through visual art and writing in the Claremont Making Change Contest. Students with exceptional entries were selected and recognized for their participation at the Alexander Hughes Community Center. The essay contest was split into individual and group projects, each with different prompts for different age groups. CHS juniors Aurora Sheridan and Gabi Watkins won an award for their group project while freshman Charlie Warren, sophomore Matti Teson, junior Kendra Bratzler, and senior Alexandra Rivasplata were each recognized for their individual entries.
The City of Claremont and CUSD have annually held the Making Change Contest for 28 years in an effort to make local students more socially conscious and aware of the progressive changes made possible by incredibly motivated individuals in the face of intense opposition. Students have written and created projects on famous individuals such as Malala Yousafzai and Martin Luther King Jr. Those selected as the contest winners were given a certificate from the City and CUSD, as well as a $100 check.
Freshman contest winner Charlie Warren who wrote about Franklin D. Roosevelt has experienced firsthand the rich benefits that one receives from participating in the Making Change Contest this year.
“This contest is about developing your awareness about the world and its issues,” Warren said. “The real reward for writing the essay is becoming more socially aware in your community. Not only are you writing your own essay, but you get to learn about more topics through others’ essays.”
Senior contest winner Alexandra Rivasplata found the feedback given to all of the participants to be extremely rewarding.
“I think the responses to our artwork and essays were really nice,” Rivasplata said. “A lot of influential people from city council and the schools that were at the ceremony gave very positive feedback for my essay and the projects that other people created.”
The Making Change Contest has proven to be an effective way in exposing students to the great change that can be made by a single individual. By honoring famous activists who made significant differences, the young students of Claremont may recognize that they too have the power to catalyze the change needed in such a volatile sociopolitical landscape present within the U.S. and the rest of the world.

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CHS Students ‘Make Change’ With Writing