American Heritage Scholarship Program

Program Introduction

This year is the 18th year of the American Heritage Scholarship Program, a partnership between The Modesto Bee, Stanislaus County Office of Education, and Modesto City Schools. The program includes a public lecture and an essay competition for Stanislaus County High School juniors and seniors. Students from public, private, and charter schools are encouraged to apply.


Top Essay Finalists to be honored November 12th

Sydney  Aguilar
Sofia Amaral
Jonathan Benitez
Riley Berger
Bandna Bhatti
William Castleberry
Xavier Coleman
Guadalupe Gonzalez
Molly Howard
Riley Kroeze
Jack Litke
Virginia Moore
Nicholas Panyanouvong
Annabelle Pistel
Victor Romero
Ximena Soltero
Emily Swehla
Sophia Tallcott
Kevin Tiffin
Abigail Van Diepen
Taylin Vetsch



2019 Speakers

September 11th, 7 pm at Beyer High Little Theater
David (retired Attorney) & Sharon (retired HS teacher) Froba
Garth Stapley, Opinions Editor of The Modesto Bee
William Broderick-Villa, Attorney-at-law of Broderick Legal Group

Pre-recorded Link, courtesy of MCS-Downey High AV, for 9/11 event night:

2019 Essay Prompt

Recently uncovered documents revealing government-sponsored discrimination from the past have created inequalities still evident in our community today. Locally, racially restrictive real estate covenants (referred to as CC&Rs) have resulted in neighborhoods with marked disparities in access to resources, amenities, and basic necessities. Because owning a home is the primary mechanism for accumulating wealth, these restrictive covenants have had a negative, generational impact on families of color. 

Does our community have an obligation to respond? What response, if any, would be appropriate and Constitutional?


2019 Scholarship Donors

YTD- As of Nov. 1, 2019
Ramon & Barbara Bawanan
Bank of Stockton
Tom & Dianne Changnon
James Enochs
Curtis & Nancy Grant
Curtis Legal Group
John & Cheryl Goulart
Mike & Judy Herrero
Kathy Hobby
Ben & Diane Kuykendall
Scott & Alison Kuykendall
Law Offices of Frank Lima
Jason & Catherine Maggard
Martin Petersen
Mocse Credit Union
Modesto Teachers Association
Chet & Catherine Quittmeyer
E & J Gallo Winery
Fred & Susan Rich
Col. & Mrs. John Rogers, ASAF (RET.)
James & Peggy Shiovitz
Bob & Susanne A Starling
Kiwanis of Greater Turlock
Waterford Lions Club
100% of funding for all scholarships comes from the generosity of businesses & community members. If you and or a family member or colleague might be interested in becoming a generous donor: Contact Valerie Escobar at the Stanislaus County Office of Education, vescobar [ahtsym] stancoe [dhotsym] org, (209) 238-1706

American Heritage Committee Members

William Broderick-Villa, Valerie Escobar, Cheryl Goulart,
Kathy Hobby, Jason Maggard, Susan Rich, Christine Sisco,
Garth Stapley, and Janeen Zambo


Live Filming and Video Editing

Downey High School AV Students, led by Rene Guevara



Week of August 12th

  Application Packets sent to all high schools, both electronically and physically) Public, Charter, Private, & Homeschool

September 11th

  Presentation 7 P.M.

  Beyer High School, Little Theater (1717 Sylvan Ave, Modesto, CA 95355)

September 12th

  Live Stream Version of Presentation available for viewing at: (On this page)

October 11th

  ESSAYS DUE to the Superintendent’s Office at the Stanislaus County Office of Education  (Can be postmarked by 5pm on October 11th)

November 12th

  Awards Ceremony (Top winners will be invited to attend)

  SCOE Boardroom (1100 H Street, Modesto – 2nd floor)




Contact Us

1100 H Street
Modesto, CA 95354
Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm

Mission Statement

Mission Statement 

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.

Vision Statement 

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.

Key Contacts

Jason Maggard

Cheif of Staff, SCOE Administrative Services

Valerie Escobar- American Heritage Coordinator

Executive Assistant/Office Manager, SCOE Administrative Services