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Time is Running Short — Deadline to Enter is February 24

The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce has announced the launch of an initiative aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities; inviting Buena Vista Middle Schoolers to participate in the 2023 National Civics Bee.

Organized in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the competition in Buena Vista will inspire 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.

Logo courtesy Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce

“The BV Chamber is excited to partner with BV Schools, the home school community and private schools in the greater Buena Vista area to get our youth excited about participating in our democratic process and learning how to do so constructively,” said President and CEO of the Buena Vista Chamber Heather Rupska. “We look forward to our businesses, elected officials, other leaders, and our whole community partnering with us to make this an amazing experience for our kids.”

Middle school students from public, private, charter, and home schools are invited to take part in the first-round civics competition — which is a 500-word essay. But time is passing and the 500-word entries in the first round of the competition are due February 24. If you are a 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student with an idea about using civics to improve your community, this civics contest is for you.

A distinguished panel reviews the 500-word essays, and the top 20 students will be selected to move on to the final round of competition: a live quiz event to test their civics knowledge. The Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce will host this event in mid-April; details on the location are still being finalized.

The finalists and top winners will receive various prizes, including $500 cash for the first-place student. The top winners will move on to compete in the Colorado state competition where the 1st place prize is $1,000. Whoever wins the Colorado competition will compete nationally.

At the moment the contest is open to Middle schoolers in participating communities in Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

BV is one of five communities in Colorado whose chambers have signed them up to participate:

Arvada Chamber of Commerce (Arvada, CO)
‍Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce (Buena Vista, CO)
‍Craig Chamber of Commerce (Craig, CO)
‍Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (Denver, CO)
‍Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce (Pueblo, CO)

Speaking with AVV this week, Rupska said “We are beyond honored to get our youth excited about learning how to participate in our American democratic process … I think we can agree that many in the younger generations truly have not learned how to constructively participate in the process to create the change they would like to see.”

Truth Has a Voice Foundation (THAVF) dba Ark Valley Voice ( will be the community media sponsor of the multi-part event. The Foundation’s two branches have an overall mission to nurture fact-based objective reporting and programming, to provide educational opportunities in journalism, and to work toward a better-informed community, civil discourse and government accountability.

The deadline for student essay submissions is 12:00 Midnight, February 24, 2023 and President’s Day weekend couldn’t be a better time for Middle schoolers who are serious about their role in preserving this democracy to decide to step up. As to yourself: do you want a chance to win cash prizes and recognition for demonstrating your knowledge of American democracy?

In addition to funding from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the National Civics Bee is made possible by the generous support of The Daniels Fund and the Travelers Companies, Inc. as part of their Citizen Travelers initiative.

For more information on the essay topic, competition rules, and prizes, and to submit your local essay, visit: