Mandatory service to be topic of Modesto debate event

Should all Americans be required to do a year of national service?

That is the theme for this year's American Heritage Scholarship Series. The free program will take place Thursday 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 Fresno State University and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and Morgan Crinklaw, a University of the Pacific graduate and former legislative staffer who now works as an external communications adviser for Chevron Corp.

After the lecture, Stanislaus County high school juniors and seniors are invited to submit an essay on the subject to compete for up to $10,000 in scholarships.

The essay deadline is Oct. 29. Complete instructions for the essay contest were distributed to high school counselors and are available at, at the Stanislaus County Office of Education, 1100 H St., Modesto, or at 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 local businesses, professional firms and individuals.