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2015 American Heritage Scholarship Program

Above is the top award winner (2015): John Perez from Beyer High ($1,500), Kara Liu from Beyer High School ($2,000), Christopher Pack from Whitmore Charter High($1,500)

This is the 14th year of the American Heritage Scholarship Program, which includes a public lecture and an essay competition for Stanislaus County juniors and seniors.

View 2015 Lecture Below:

Application Materials:

Writing Resources

Overview of Past Winners & Prompts


The American Heritage Scholarship Program seeks to increase our understanding of what it means to be an American.  Unlike other nations, the essence of American nationality has little to do with our country of origin or the specifics of our religious faith.  While the American spirit embraces such diversity, what unites us as a people is a shared set of principles and ideals which proclaim our freedoms and set forth our responsibilities.

This program is intended to encourage teens, and the public, to think about what makes the United States unique in the world, with a focus on the Constitution. Previous lectures have looked at the Patriot Act, the First Amendment, the separation of church and state, and the role of political parties.

This year's essay prompt is:

In 1215, the Magna Carta affirmed a right to trial by jury. 800 years later and a continent away, many civil and criminal disputes are still resolved by juries. Is trial by jury an idea past its prime?
Make a case either for or against the use of juries to try civil and criminal disputes in modern America.

The presentation is slated for September 22, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Downey High School Auditorium, located at 1000 Coffee Rd, Modesto. Please park in the back lot.

Video of the September 22nd lecture featuring guest speakers, Kirk McAllister and Ruben Villalobos will be available via live stream and arcived for viewing at a future date. To view this presentation on September 22nd or a later date, please click on the link above.

Rules and applications for the essay contest have been sent to high schools in the county and are also available online. All juniors and seniors including home-schooled students are encouraged to enter.

More information is available from the Stanislaus County Office of Education, 238-1706, a lead sponsor of the event. Modesto City Schools and The Modesto Bee also are sponsors, with scholarship funding provided by local businesses, organizations and individuals.

Funding for 2015, is provided by:

Jack and Pam Able

Alpine Pacific Nut Co.

Arata, Swingle, Sodhi & Van Egmond

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo

Bank of Stockton-Modesto Commerce Branch

Harry and Donna Bakker

Dean & Elizabeth Doerksen

Mike Dunbar

E. & J. Gallo Winery

James & Julie Goodwin

Curtis & Nancy Grant

Kathy Hobby

Kiwanis of Greater Turlock

Law Offices of Frank M. Lima

Martin & Sharon Petersen

Mocse Credit Union

Charles & Catherine Quittmeyer

Fred & Susan Rich

Col. and Mrs. John S. Rogers, USAF (RET.)

Varco Pruden

Sue & Lynn Zwahlen

The American Heritage Awards Ceremony is scheduled for November 17, at 7:00 pm at the Stanislaus County Office of Education Board Room at 1100 H Street in Modesto.  We hope you will be able to join us for the culminating celebration of this exciting project.

137 students from 10 high schools entered the American Heritage Essay competition last year. Nineteen student essays were selected to receive scholarships by a panel of judges that consisted of educators, community members, and Superior Court Judges.









2015 Scholarship Winners
First Name Last Name School Award
Kara Liu Beyer High $2,000
Christopher Pack Whitmore Charter High $1,500
John Perez Beyer High $1,500
Kristina Chan Gregori High $1,000
Kassandra Ramsdell Gregori High $1,000
Emma Boggs Oakdale High $500
Kendall  Smith Central Catholic High $500
Sarah Sorenson Oakdale High $500
Ethan Yeaman Oakdale High $500
Christian Armstrong Oakdale High $100
Elisabeth Hayes Gregori High $100
Jenna Ingles Oakdale High $100
Nathaniel Jensen Gregori High $100
Christopher Moya Johansen High $100
Adriana Munoz Gregori High $100
Hannah Neeley Gregori High $100
Emanuel Perez Johansen High $100
Austin Romito Oakdale High $100
Jessica Tran Johansen High $100
    Total Awards $10,000



Windows Media


The lecture video is available in Windows Media Format for Mac/ PC.
For more information please visit the Windows Media Player website