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The future of California politics? Look no further than Centennial High School

Bakersfield seniors are heading straight to the capitol
Are we ready?
Posted at 8:05 AM, Mar 07, 2024
  • Centennial High School's We The People team is heading to nationals!
  • 23ABC's Ava Kershner speaks to students who say the class has taught them valuable lessons in seeing other perspectives.

“Are you feeling ready?” I ask.

“Ready’s a strong word,” said Daniela Dibble.

24 high school seniors from Bakersfield will be traveling over two thousand miles to Washington D.C.

“Most of the viewers probably heard about a mock trial, this is a mock congressional hearing,” said Joey Biron.

We The People Coach Joey Biron trains six panels of students to be an expert on different parts of the constitution.

And encourages them to consider other perspectives.

“I really love this program because we can talk about such controversial issues and I believe, I think in the public sphere we usually see a lot of discourse about these things and people not being able to be like civil about it,” said Madison Calvillo. 

“My favorite part is probably being able to freely express my opinions without being told that I'm too young to know anything,” said Tatum Sandoval. 

Centennial’s We The People program qualified for the final round at the state championship in February.

And got into the national competition as a wild card team.

Which makes them feel:

“Pretty emotional, I feel like everything is our last things as we are like going into like our adulthood so it's pretty nerve wracking,” said Presley Lawrence.

Now they will be competing against over 45 teams from across the nation.

One of the last events the senior class will have before they graduate.

“I feel like We The People gives me like more of a purpose I guess,” said Hailey Brady.

“It's fulfilling in a way that you won't really find in other classes, you get to do tons of research and it's really really hard and then you get to do a competition with your best friends where you get to argue passionately about something you enjoy,” said Sebastien Boehme.

If you would like to learn more about ways to support the team heading to nationals, head to their social media page.

For any donations for $1500 or less, checks can be made out to:

CHS We the People Program

Attn: Finance Department

8601 Hageman Road

Bakersfield, California 93312-3957

Corporate donors requesting a 501(c)3 receipt should make out checks to:

Kern High School District Educational Foundation

Attn: Graci Ashmore

5801 Sundale Avenue

Bakersfield, California 93309

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