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RHS senior writes to the top

Amanda Wong wins $3,000 scholarship
By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Standing in the top seven spots of the National Federation of Women Legislators and National Rifle Association’s Bill of Rights Essay scholarship, 17-year-old Amanda Wong will share her speech in Atlanta, Ga., from Nov. 15-19.

“I am sure I will meet some very inspirational people,” said Wong, whose two-minute speech parallels her essay of affirmative action and federalism.

Wong was recognized as a finalist Sept. 12 in the 15th annual nationwide Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest sponsored by the National Federation of Women Legislators and National Rifle Association.

“I have found her to be an exemplary candidate for this competition,” said Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Rocklin), who presented Wong with the award at the Northern California Women’s Forum, an event where women congregate from all over the region to partake in seminars and classes, and to hear speakers at William Jessup University. “She is a well-rounded individual and an inspiration to many young women in our community.”

Wong entered the competition over the summer among the pool of college-bound girls from the class of 2012 and 2013.

The top seven applicants not only secure the $3,000 scholarship, but also earn a trip to Georgia with their sponsoring state legislator to attend the National Federation of Women Legislators Annual Conference in 2012.

Wong said the experience is a “great honor.”

“I was up against over 500 applicants, so it was very flattering to have made it into the top 25,” said Wong, who is proud of the essay she submitted in response to a prompt concerning the impacts of federalism on women and historically underrepresented populations.

Her essay, focused on affirmative action, was one of the requirements for consideration in the competition. Wong also submitted several letters of recommendation and the sponsorship of a state legislator.

“I am honored to have the privilege of recommending her to the National Federation of Women Legislators and the National Rifle Association for their joint Bill of Rights Essay Scholarship Contest,” said Gaines, who will accompany Wong in Atlanta. “I wish her the best of luck and success in the rest of this scholarship competition, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in Atlanta.”

Political pursuits, however, are nothing new to Wong.

She was a state representative for the 2012 Legischool Anti-Bullying Legislative Summit and has been elected to the Placer County Youth Commission for two consecutive years, now serving as its vice president. Wong competed in the Humorous Interpretation for the Capitol Valley League at the high school speech and debate state tournament last spring before becoming team captain this year. She has placed third in the American Association of University Women Eleanor Stem Allen speech competition and interned at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office since 2011.

Her life goal is to become a federal prosecutor after completing her undergraduate education at University of Notre Dame and law school at Georgetown University.

The current Rocklin High newspaper editor-in-chief, who describes herself as industrious, confident and happy, said the competition has taught her to alway try. Initially, she said, she was worried she wouldn’t do well, but she is glad she decided to pursue the competition.

She appreciates the support of Gaines and her staff, especially Emily Frost. Wong said she admires Gaines and her work, as she is a strong, inspiring and active voice in the community.

“I have confidence now in all I do and know that, no matter what, I will do my best,” she said.