Local 7th grader Sriram Yalavarthy had an impressive showing at the first-ever Colorado Civics Bee, besting 15 finalists to win first place and win the $1,000 prize at the May 19 Civics Bee finals.
District 20 Representative Don Wilson and Metropolitan State University Professor Robert Preuhs were among the judges for the competition, which featured a live quiz-show style format. The Civics Bee was put on by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce.
Yalavarthy, who attends Drake Middle School, said his love for social studies began by watching "The Nightly News with Lester Holt" with his family every night.
“Watching real-life events unfold has prompted me to gain an interest in civics,” Yalavarthy said.
Yalavarthy said that he reviewed United States history and the Constitution to prepare for the finals of the competition. He also credited teachers from Drake and West Woods Elementary School with helping him prepare.
He said his favorite question of the competition was correctly identifying Marbury v. Madison as the landmark Supreme Court case that defined the high court’s role in the U.S. government, which Yalavarthy said was his favorite prompt because it validated Yalavarthy’s studies of landmark Supreme Court cases.
“I was really surprised when they announced that I was the 2023 Colorado State Civics Bee champion because all the finalists were so talented,” Yalavarthy said.
The wise-beyond-his-years middle schooler said his ambition changes frequently, but he currently wants to be a news reporter when he grows up.