Contest a shot at scholarships

Should all U.S. citizens be required to do a year of national service? That's the theme for this year's American Heritage Scholarship Series. The free program will be Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Martin G. Petersen Event Center, 720 12th St., Modesto. Debating the topic will be two graduates of Orestimba High School in Newman: Christopher Warren, a graduate of California State University, Fresno, and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and Morgan Crinklaw, a University of the Pacific graduate and former legislative staff member who works as an external communications adviser for Chevron Corp. After the debate, high school juniors and seniors in Stanislaus County are invited to submit an essay on the subject to compete for up to $10,000 in scholarships. The essay deadline is Oct. 29. Contest instructions were distributed to high school counselors and are available at or at the Stanislaus County Office of Education, 1100 H St., Modesto, or The Modesto Bee, 1325 H St. This is the ninth year for the American Heritage lecture and essay competition. It is sponsored by The Bee, the county Office of Education and Modesto City Schools, with donations from businesses, professional firms and individuals.