Buena Vista’s Impressive Civics Bee Brings Top Youth Talent Together

A remarkable National Civics Bee was held in Buena Vista on April 18, bringing together some of the top young minds in the region.

The National Civics Bee is an annual competition that encourages young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. To enter the contest, participating middle schoolers write an essay identifying a problem facing the community. Essays topics ranged from teenage vaping to the housing crisis. Top essay winners moved on to the event hosted April 18. The competitors answered quiz questions on constitutional amendments, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and other civic-related topics.

The event was hosted by the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Colorado Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The competition was set up in three rounds. In the first and second rounds, competitors were given a quiz, with which the audience could answer along regarding specific amendments and advanced level questions. After two rounds of multiple-choice questions, the top seven competitors moved to the final round which consisted of them giving speeches about their essays and then answering questions from the judges. The judges panel included SDCEA town of Buena Vista board member Blake Bennetts.

The event was hosted by Dan R of Heart of the Rockies Radio, who kept the audience engaged and entertained while they watched 20-25 competitors battle it out for first place. At the end of it all, ceremonial checks were presented to the winners representing their hard work and dedication to their studies.
“It is an honor to bring our young people the opportunity to engage and connect with the issues that impact them,” said Buena Vista Chamber President and CEO Heather Rupska. “We hope that the Civics Bee will broaden participation in our democratic process and inspire our youth to stay engaged to continue strengthening our local economy and our community.”
Students competed with their peers in a live quiz event and answered questions from judges to evaluate their civics knowledge. The top three finalists from the Buena Vista competition will have the chance to participate in the state-level competition hosted by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in Denver on May 19, 2023.
Winners of the Buena Vista-area civics bee include:
• First place: Joseph Drexler, Darren Patterson Christian Academy
• Second place: Maya Lyle, Buena Vista Middle School
• Third place: Andee Quilico, Buena Vista Middle School
SDCEA was the Tech sponsor of the event, which allowed competitors to take home the tablets they used to compete in the event. Congratulations to Joseph Drexler for winning this year’s competition with his essay on Buena Vista’s housing crisis. And thank you to everyone who came out and participated.