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Colorado Chamber Celebrates Finalists for 2023 National Civics Bee Competition

For media inquiries, please contact Cynthia Eveleth-Havens at [email protected].

DENVER – Middle school students across Colorado competed in the 2023 National Civics Bee regional competitions throughout the state last week, with finalists advancing to the state-level competition hosted by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Daniels Fund and the Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The initiative is aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.

“We’re thrilled to recognize young Coloradans interested in civic engagement and to inspire the next generation to be involved in shaping our communities,” said Colorado Chamber President and CEO Loren Furman. “We congratulate this year’s winners from all of the regional competitions and look forward to seeing them next month in Denver!”

The Colorado Chamber partnered with the Arvada, Buena Vista, Denver Metro, Craig and Greater Pueblo chambers of commerce to launch the program. The competitions across Colorado are meant to 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.

“Watching these impressive young people engage in civics in a fun and approachable way was pure joy,” said Hanna Skandera, President and CEO of the Daniels Fund. “We are thrilled to support the Civics Bee, empowering middle schoolers to become active citizens and help create a stronger democracy for future generations.”

Approximately 140 students across the state submitted essays to enter the regional competitions, which were held throughout last week. Students participated in live quiz events and were pressed on their civics knowledge by panels of judges. The top three students from each competition received cash prizes, recognition, and the opportunity to compete in the statewide championship hosted by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in Denver on May 19, 2023.

Finalists invited to participate in the state-level National Civics Bee competition include:

  • Tally Smith, Falcon Bluffs Middle School (Littleton)
  • Ella Engebretson, Mandalay Middle School (Westminster)
  • Sriram Yalavarthy, Drake Middle School (Arvada)
  • Joseph Drexler, Darren Patterson Christian Academy (Buena Vista)
  • Maya Lyle, Buena Vista Middle School (Buena Vista)
  • Andee Quilico, Buena Vista Middle School (Buena Vista)
  • Rayne Housel, Hayden Valley Secondary School (Hayden)
  • Ryun Pressgrove, Craig Middle School (Craig)
  • Mercy Fontenot, Homeschool (Craig)
  • Penny Kim, Merrill Middle School (Denver)
  • James Rall, Denver School of the Arts (Denver)
  • Aanshi Shah, Thunder Vista P-8 (Broomfield)
  • Jack Centner, Corwin International Magnet School (Pueblo)
  • Addison Scott, Pleasant View Middle School (Pueblo)
  • Morris Casarez, Pleasant View Middle School (Pueblo)

All participants in the state competition will receive a tablet device as a prize from the Colorado Chamber. The top three winners of the state competition will receive cash prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place.

For more information on the 2023 National Civics Bee, please visit


The Colorado Chamber of Commerce champions free enterprise, a healthy business environment and economic prosperity for all Coloradans. It is the only business association that works to improve the business climate for all sizes of business from a statewide, multi-industry perspective. What the Colorado Chamber accomplishes is good for all businesses, and that’s good for the state’s economy. It was created in 1965 based on the merger with the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association.