Greater Vancouver Chamber launches National Civics Bee

Courtesy of the GVC

The Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) recently announced the launch of the 2023 National Civics Bee, an initiative aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities. Organized in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and supported by Career Connect Southwest – ESD 112, the competition will inspire middle school age youth in the Southwest Washington region to become better informed about local, federal and state governments, a knowledge set that can give employees a leg up in the job market.  

All local sixth, seventh and eighth graders are invited to participate in the first round of the contest, consisting of a short 500-word essay competition. The essay will give the students the chance to identify an opportunity or problem in their community and share their thoughts and ideas on how to solve it. The submission period will be from Jan. 14, 2023, to Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. 

After a panel of judges, formed by business and community leaders, review the essay submissions, the top 20 students will be selected to move on to the final round of the local competition: a live quiz event to test their civics knowledge. The finalists and top winners will receive various prizes, including $500 cash for the first-place student, $250 for the second place and $125 for the third place.  

“We believe at the Greater Vancouver Chamber that building community takes all of us. When children learn about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, they become more aware of the impact that businesses and government policies have on their communities. This understanding can lead to more informed and active consumers, which can help to create a more stable and prosperous economy. Our business community relies on active professionals to make for a strong economy, and a strong workforce, and our region’s continued prosperity depends on both,” said Janet Kenefsky, vice president of operations for the Chamber.  

The live quiz event will take place in mid-April 2023, hosted by Washington State University Vancouver. The top three winners from Southwest Washington will advance to the state competition to be held in Vancouver in May 2023.  

The Greater Vancouver Chamber encourages middle school students, parents, mentors, teachers and nonprofit organizations working with kids to visit for more information on the essay topic, competition rules and prices and for students to submit essays.  

Business leaders interested in sponsoring this event, can email the Greater Vancouver Chamber at 

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start


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