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Get to Know the 11 Statewide Finalists in the 2023 National Civics Bee for Maryland

Jun 16, 2023

Middle school students from across Maryland will soon compete in the 2023 National Civics Bee statewide competition hosted by the Maryland Chamber Foundation in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and four local chambers of commerce from across the state.

Presented by Amazon, the 2023 National Civics Bee for Maryland will be held on Saturday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The initiative is aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.

As part of a collaborative effort to promote civic knowledge and involvement, the Baltimore County, Greater Crofton, Howard County and Frederick County chambers of commerce all participated in the 2023 National Civics Bee initiative, each hosting local competitions that tested middle schoolers’ civic knowledge and evaluated ideas for solving problems in their communities. The top three students from each competition received cash prizes, recognition and the opportunity to advance to the state competition.

Finalists invited to participate in the statewide National Civics Bee competition for Maryland include:

From the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce:

Tomisin A. lives in Towson and is an 8th Grader from Loch Raven Technical Academy in Baltimore County. Tomisin highlighted the growing concern regarding violence in schools, advocating for more proactive and stricter security measures in schools, including having more officers, practicing lockdown procedures, and conducting searches for suspected weapons.

Rayn M. is from Randallstown and is an 8th grader at Northwest Academy of Health Sciences in Baltimore County. Rayn’s essay addresses opioid abuse and addiction, and suggests drawing on lessons from countries like Portugal, who have solved similar problems via legalization and regulation policies and public education efforts to reduce opioid use.

Jude R. lives in Timonium and is an 8th grader from Ridgely Middle School in Baltimore County. Jude’s essay addresses the issue of physical fighting in schools, and proposes that schools provide students with opportunities to discuss their problems, concerns and wellbeing anonymously with trained counselors from the school and community.

From the Greater Crofton Chamber of Commerce

Daniel M. lives in Odenton and is a 7th grader at Arundel Middle School in Anne Arundel County. Daniel’ essay addresses issues with poor quality and availability of school bus transportation services in Maryland, recommending alternative transportation options, supportive policies, and recognition for bus drivers.

Gianna S. lives in Bowie, and is a homeschool student in 7th grade. Gianna’s essay discusses the strict limitations that her Home Owners Association places on vegetable gardens, and proposes working with the Maryland legislature to introduce a Victory Garden Act that would enable residents across the state to locate well-kept gardens in the location of their choosing.

Andrew S. is from Gambrillis and is an 8th grader at Arundel Middle School in Anne Arundel County. Andrew’s essay highlights the issues created by having insufficient access to recreational areas for youth, and proposes that youth participate in county planning and zoning meetings, advocating for their needs.

From the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce

Tanvi C. lives in Urbana and is an 8th grader from Urbana Middle School in Frederick County. Tanvi’s essay addressed the problem of affordable housing and inequality, proposing government intervention, helpful programs and community advocacy for policy changes.

Marcelo T. lives in Frederick and is a 7th grader who attends Walkersville Middle School in Frederick County. Marcelo’s essay discussed the urbanization of Frederick County, suggesting support for local farms through initiatives like Farming Frederick, by purchasing products from local farms, and for advocating for conscious housing and environmental initiatives.

From the Howard County Chamber of Commerce

Dev G. lives in Woodstock and is an 8th grader from Mount View Middle School in Howard County. Dev discussed the absence of bike lanes in his neighborhood, recommending collaboration with the HOA and community stakeholders to address traffic patterns and create safe lanes.

Caroline K. lives in Wheaton and is an 8th grader from Newport Middle School in Montgomery County. In her essay, Caroline highlighted the issue of period poverty, and the challenges faced by women and girls in accessing essential hygiene products. Caroline suggests working with schools to distribute hygiene products and encouraging community donations to support this initiative.

Ronen S. lives in Marriottsville, and is a 6th grader from Mount View Middle School in Howard County. Ronen tackled the issue of mass shootings, gun violence, school safety and mental health, suggesting expanded mental health awareness and mandated outdoor education programs in schools.

All participants in the state competition will receive a laptop computer as a prize from the Maryland Chamber Foundation. The top winners will receive various prizes, including $1,000 cash for the first-place student. Learn more about the National Civics Bee