City, CUSD honor Making Change winners

Chaparral Elementary School second graders (L-R) Behrad Ghadimi, Max Rogers, Caroline Liu, and Erin Libunao alongside their teacher Stephanie Redcher at Monday’s Making Change ceremony. Redcher’s class also includes Victoria Banuelos, Amelia Beer, Drew Bryant, Mateo Camarena, Reese Di Mauro, Angela Ding, Anthony Ferguson, Quinn Halverson, Sidney Hobbs, Cameron Kent, Cameron Lopez, Elizabeth Lowe, Ramzes Medina, Austin O’Hara, Delaila Stark, Charlotte Sun, Madeline Velasco, Emma Wirtz, and Rosalinda Woong. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

by Andrew Alonzo |

Two groups of students and five individuals took home high honors Monday as part of the 34th annual Making Change contest.

The annual competition by the City of Claremont and Claremont Unified School District asks CUSD students to submit essays and multimedia projects highlighting change-making figures throughout history.

“Working together to encourage our youth to be involved and to research these special individuals ensures that their trials and tribulations are never forgotten,” Claremont Mayor Sal Medina said during the awards ceremony at Alexander Hughes Community Center. “Most importantly, it gives our youth the opportunity to discover positive role models.”

Group winners included Stephanie Redcher’s second grade class at Chaparral Elementary School, which designed a collage about the importance of voices, and El Roble Intermediate School seventh graders Angie Lu, Laila Vinas, Madison Jones and Mia Stuhlman, who created a poster highlighting American poet and activist Amanda Gorman.

Claremont High School sophomore Pablo Guevara delivers his essay Monday at the Making Change contest ceremony. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

Individual honorees received a $100 prize. They included Chaparral fourth grader Jacob Medina who wrote about his mother Evelyn Janet Bonilla, an anesthesiologist at City of Hope; Chaparral fifth grader Bailey Wong, who submitted an essay about American women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony; El Roble seventh grader Itzela Godoy, who created a video on William C. Bell, president and chief executive officer of Casey Family Programs, “the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care in the United States”; Claremont High Schoolsophomore Pablo Guevara, who discussed the late Mexican American politician Edward Ross Roybal, one of the first Latinos to serve in the U.S. Congress; and CHS senior Luke Mason, who wrote an essay answering the question, “What does it take to evoke social change?”

Lauren Roselle, vice chair of the city’s community and human services commission, introduced each of the projects, then students had their photo taken with Mayor Medina and CUSD Board President Bob Fass.

“This ceremony celebrates the efforts of our youth and affirms the important role of our teachers, parents and community, and what they play in teaching students how to constructively express their views and opinions,” Roselle said.

“Students, please understand change is sometimes slow in coming, but over time there’s progress if people work for it and you know that your schools and your community embrace the achievements of human rights champions, past and present,” Fass added. “I hope you understand that you give us hope for the future.”

More information about this year’s contest is at


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