San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System announced Monday 40 local high school students who took part in an annual essay contest were awarded new laptop computers and backpacks.
Students from more than 70 high schools around the county entered the MTS and Coca-Cola Laptop Scholarship Contest, which required the applicants to submit an essay on ways to get more students to use public transit such as lowering student transit passes.
The winning students, from 27 schools, received a 15.6-inch HP Touch-Screen laptop and a Northface backpack that doubles as a laptop case. MTS officials honored the winning students on Friday at the 12th and Imperial Transit Center.
“It was great that winners came from so many campuses,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “Their essays presented convincing ideas. Students were required to think critically about the way public transit shapes our communities.”
The contest comes from a partnership between MTS, Coca-Cola Refreshments of San Diego and the San Diego County Office of Education. Each applicant had to be a county resident and attend a county high school to be eligible.
The essay dealt with MTS recently approving changes to lower the cost of a Youth Transit Pass from $36 to $23 a month.
“Write an essay outlining whether you think lower monthly passes will help more students ride MTS: why or why not?” said the rules. “Identify three benefits and/or challenges for students when choosing transit. Include a minimum of two strategies for how MTS can encourage more students (ages 6 – 18) to ride public transit.”
- Bezalel Aboye, The Preuss School UCSD
- Maria Aguirre, The Preuss School UCSD
- Ashley Asadi, Del Norte High School
- Bryan Quezada-Ayala, Diego Hills Central Charter School
- Kate Calhoun, Fallbrook Union High School
- Cherish Clarkson, Grossmont High School
- Holly Day, El Capitan High School
- Aleia Dela Cuadra, High Tech High Chula Vista
- Robert Dennett, River Valley Charter School
- Fulton Elkins, Valley Center High School
- Lindsey Flores, Clairemont High School
- Mandy Frazer, El Capitan High School
- Alexsandra Garcia, High Tech High Chula Vista
- Nephtali Garcia, Sweetwater Union High School
- Arianna Girmai, Hoover High School
- Melissa Hernandez, Granite Hills High School
- Bennett Hochner, Sage Creek High School
- Isaiah Irizarry, Bonita Vista High School
- Christabelle Junaidi, Del Norte High School
- Nicholas Lam, Helix Charter High School
- Mark Lindgren, Canyon Crest Academy
- Alexis Lona, Mater Dei Catholic High School
- Valeria Montemayor, East Village High School
- Emett Morrow, Rancho Buena Vista High School
- Derek Murchison, High Tech High Chula Vista
- Karoshi Nanavati, Rancho Bernardo High School
- Jose Padilla Tapia, The Preuss School UCSD
- Faith Pilbin, Fallbrook Union High School
- Ethan Prom, Carlsbad High School
- Jed Quiaoit, Rancho Buena Vista High School
- Rusty Rinehart, Rancho Bernardo High School
- Isaac Rivera, High Tech High Media Arts
- Olivia Root, Helix Charter High School
- Evelia Rosas, Vista High School
- Neha Sahota, San Marcos High School
- Juan Serrano, The Preuss School UCSD
- Lauren Sherburne, Christian High School
- Matthew Skimina, Fallbrook Union High School
- Julia Starkey, Mira Mesa High School
- And Melissa Tamarkin, Valley Center High School
— City News Service contributed to this report.
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