Texas High School Students Offer Solutions to Community Problems at Civics Fair

June 2, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — Students from El Paso's Horizon High School offered solutions to the problem of teen pregnancy to win first place in the sixth annual Speak Up! Speak Out! civics fair hosted by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation at The University of Texas at Austin.

Students from Akins High School and LBJ High School, both in Austin, placed second and third, respectively. More than 80 students from six high schools in El Paso, San Antonio and Austin participated in the event.

Speak Up! Speak Out! is an innovative project-based, civics learning opportunity designed to engage high school students in solving community problems by becoming engaged at the local level. Students work in teams to define a community problem that has a direct impact on their lives and research ways to solve the problem with innovative, viable solutions. The event features two components: a civics fair where students display their projects and a Speak Out! session where teams deliver oral presentations to a panel of judges from the community.

Jesus Campos of San Antonio's Lanier High School received a $1,000 scholarship through his participation in the civics fair. The scholarship was made possible through a partnership with The University of Texas System Institute for Public School Initiatives College Access Scholarship Program. This scholarship is available for use at any nonprofit, accredited two- or four-year postsecondary institution in the United States. Scholarship recipients must be high school seniors and the first person in their family to attend college.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071; Deborah Wise, 512-471-7210.