Lecture/essay program for high school seniors looks at college admissions

September 4, 2013 

High school seniors are starting to prepare their college applications and, as we’ve heard in recent years, the selection process is competitive and at times controversial, especially when a high-achieving student doesn’t get into his or her first-choice university. One of the questions that frequently surfaces: Did a less qualified student get in because of affirmative action?

Affirmative action admissions programs and whether they are appropriate under the 14th Amendment is the subject for this year’s American Heritage Scholarship Series lecture, which will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Martin G. Petersen Event Center, 720 12th St., Modesto. Following that free lecture, high school juniors and seniors in Stanislaus County are invited to submit an essay arguing either for or against the use of affirmative action admissions programs in public colleges and universities. Scholarship awards ranging from $100 to to $2,000 will be presented for the winning essays.

The American Heritage program was launched in 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, to help assure that students understand and appreciate what it means to be an American. Each year, a lecture is offered that focuses on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution. The program is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, the Modesto City Schools and The Modesto Bee.

The speaker for this year’s lecture will be William Broderick-Villa, an attorney with the Curtis Legal Group in Modesto. Broderick-Villa is a former Waterford High School teacher and the former mayor of Waterford.

More information on the essay requirements and entry form are available from high school counselors or on the county Office of Education website, www.stancoe.org/scoe/admin/american_heritage/index.html. The program is supported by contributions from local businesses and professionals, nonprofit organizations and individuals. Donations can be made to the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County, 1100 H St., Modesto 95354. Please note that it is for the American Heritage Scholarship Series.

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