Local students head to Chamber-sponsored Texas competition for National Civics Bee

Daiwik Reddy from Nimitz Middle School placed first at the local National Civics Bee in April. (Courtesy Photo)

Three local students are headed to Dallas to compete in the 3rd Annual Texas National Civics Bee.

The event will be hosted in Dallas at the George W. Bush Presidential Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 15.

The three students will represent the Odessa Chamber of Commerce at the competition.

The National Civics Bee is an initiative aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Organized in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the competition inspires middle schoolers to become better informed about American democracy, to engage respectfully and constructively in the community, and to build greater trust in others and institutions.

The Odessa Chamber of Commerce hosted the local National Civics Bee in April at UTPB. Eighty-nine area middle school students submitted written essays focused on “Identify a problem facing our community.”

The essays were judged by local community leaders and the top 20 students were selected for the live event, which featured two rounds of a web-based quiz and a live final round featuring questions from three local judges. Finalists Daiwik Reddy from Nimitz Middle School, Elijah Munoz from St. John’s Episcopal School and Pennelope Liendo from MISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy placed in the top three, respectively, taking home cash prizes.

These three local students will join 12 other state-wide students for the Texas event. The first-place winner will receive a $500 cash prize and advance to the Nationals event to be held in Washington, DC, in November.

The Odessa Chamber is one of only five in Texas to be chosen to host this event. There are 83 total contests throughout the country.

“We are so proud of all the students who participated in our local event this spring. We certainly feel very confident that our three finalists will represent our area well and believe any of the three have a great chance of advancing to the Nationals competition. We look forward to rooting them on in Dallas this weekend,” Renee’ Earls, President/CEO of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release.

Special thanks to local sponsor Abell-Hanger Foundation for their support for travel funds for the students and their families.