Top honor for student’s essay on agriculture

A local seventh-grader shone in a county contest to take first place in an essay competition.
Rebecca Perez, a seventh-grader at South Valley Junior High took first place in the fifth annual Cesar Chavez essay contest sponsored by Stanford University.
Perez wrote a three-page essay on why she thinks the agricultural way of life is important.
“I think it’s so important to me because I see it every day because my dad and my uncle work in agriculture,” she said.
Perez, who is fluent in both English and Spanish, wrote her essay in both languages. She heard about the contest in one of her classes and found the topic to be something she wanted to write about.
“I’m Hispanic, and it kind of interested me,”
she said. “I want to be someone important and remembered among Hispanics.”
Perez garnered first place in the seventh to ninth-grade category and will take home $75 for her win.
She will also attend an event celebrating the winners on Wednesday at Stanford University. Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante will also attend the celebration.
While she still is not quite sure what she wants to be, Perez is leaning toward being a doctor or a lawyer, she said.
Perez’s win caught her by surprise.
“I’m pretty excited,” she said. “I didn’t expect to win.”
South Valley teacher Lorraine Gonzalez is also proud of Perez’s accomplishment.
“Rebecca has done so much to succeed and put forth her goals,” she said.

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