2017 Photo Contest Winners!

High school students across California recently submitted entries to the LegiSchool Project’s “California Through My Eyes” photography contest. This contest tasks students with capturing images that are pertinent to California and accompanying them with a brief artist’s statement. Shared themes were California’s unique diversity, our stunning landscape, and post-drought shots of the snow!

This year was also a record breaking year! We ended up receiving 520 photos. A selection of judges were then required to narrow down the photos to the top 12% (featured below). Our top photos were judged by interim Director Elisia Hoffman, Sacramento State’s Media Production Specialist Jessica Vernone and Sacramento State’s Photographer and Design Coordinator Bruce Clark.

Many thanks to the 57 schools that participated in our contest! We also want to thank the district and legislative offices that did outreach to their constituents!

These photos will also be on display at the California State Capitol from July 10th-August 10th (originally June 15th-July 15th), located on the third floor of the annex.

And without further delay, the results:

Grand Prize Winner ($150)

BC 376 E Caballero .jpg

Elysse Caballero, Community Health Advocates School at Augustus F. Hawkins High School

Elysse’s winning photo, “Source of Activism” shows a mother and child marching for immigration rights in Los Angeles. Elysse, in her statement, notes how hard immigrants work and fight for what they believe in. “The mother represents the source of activism; the child is receiving a flag from his older sister and you can see the happiness it brings to be in that environment….people of different cultures came together fighting for many different issues in the community, which are all important to California.”

Runners Up ($100, in alphabetical order)

BC 83 K Culp .jpg

Kira Culp, South Tahoe High School

This year Kira and her class took a trip to Bishop, California and witnessed a two day Pow Wow. “The moment I saw the older Pow Wow Princess help position the crown on the tiny younger junior Pow Wow Princess’ head, I realized how luck I was to be able to be apart of this amazing American experience.”


JV 87 A Gatus .jpg

Alejandro Gatus, Granada Hills Charter High School

Alejandro’s photo, “All It Takes…Is a Bench,” is of a park bench positioned between the trees with a beautiful view of the bustling city life. “Sometimes all it takes, is a seat at a park bench with a view–to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, here in California.”


381 D Kirkman.jpg

Dante Kirkman, Palo Alto High School

Dante, in his artist statement, describes California’s rich history of lowrider culture, which first began in the Latino community and has since spread to other cultures. The subject in the photo is Dante’s father, who started lowriding in the 1970s. “Lowriding celebrates the families at the heart of California life. It is no wonder that California’s culture and style has been exported worldwide through music, art and fashion.”


JV 168 S Ortiz .jpg

Stephanie Ortiz, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy

Stephanie, accompanies her beautiful photo, “Golden Gate Bridge,” with a poem. Here just a few lines:

“It was first constructed 1937. San Francisco

Is the fourth most populous city in California

And which is the showpiece of the bay area”

Honorable Mentions

JV 56 M Carlson.jpg

Megan Carlson, South Tahoe High School

Megan went to visit her sister, who is studying diary production at Chico State University. She was lucky enough to capture a picture of this curious cow. Her photo, “Udderly Ammosed Californian Cow,” perfectly depicts California’s rich agriculture.


JV 212 S Johnson.jpg

Stephanie Johnson, Oak Hills High School

Stephanie, hoped to capture California’s unique beauty in her photo submission. “Everyone wants to come to California and see all the beautiful attractions and they fall in love with the state. Just as the rose attracts people, California does the same.”


BC 7 M Parent .jpg

Megan Parent, El Dorado High School

“When people from other states talk about California, usually their first thought is of our beaches.” Megan’s photo, “Reflections,” perfectly includes all aspects when we think of a beach: sand, sunglasses and a lifeguard stand.

Finalists (in alphabetical order)

464 E Arellano .jpg

Edith Arellano, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy

J Armienta .jpg

Jessica Armienta, Calipatria High School

484 J Arons .jpg

Jessie Arons, Palo Alto High School

189 A Balme .jpg

Alexzandria Balme, South Tahoe High School

271 A Buchanan .jpg

Alexander Buchanan, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy

412 D Bustamante .jpg

Daniel Bustamante, Aspire Golden State Prep

204 G Cacace.jpg

Gabriel Cacace, Apple Valley High School


A Carlson .jpg

Alxy Carlson, South Tahoe High School

43 Z Carlson .jpg

Zenita Carlson, South Tahoe High School

172 C Carpenter .jpg

Chenoa Carpenter, South Tahoe High School

221 A Cinco .jpg

Amanda Cinco, Apple Valley High School

S Clark .jpg

Savannah Clark, El Dorado High School

197 J Cline .jpg

Justin Cline, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy

E Doo.jpg

Ellen Doo, Valencia High School

463 F Farag .jpg

Fiona Farag, Palo Alto High School

274 J Flores .jpg

Joseph Flores, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory

78 K Gerber .jpg

Katy Gerber, Valencia High School

A Gomez .jpg

Ana Gomez, Calipatria High School


373 E Gutierrez.jpg

Erik Gutierrez, Canyon High School

B Heavens .jpg

Bethany Heavens, Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep High School

B Herrera .jpg

Bryan Herrera, Charter Oak High School

495 K Holmes .jpg

Kingsley Holmes, El Dorado High School

255 C How .jpg

Christopher How, Monterey High School

517 Tyler Irwin .jpg

Tyler Irwin, Dublin High School

160 T Jones .jpg

Terrence Jones, Oak Hills High School

310 G Kemp .jpg

Griffin Kemp, Palo Alto High School

290 D Kirkman .jpg

Deborah Kirkman, Community Collaborative Charter School

284 A Kirley .jpg

Alex Kirley, Justin-Siena High School


37 T Klasko .jpg

Tristan Klasko, South Tahoe High School

348 P Knoblock .jpg

Paige Knoblock, Palo Alto High School

289 J Lambert .jpg

Jayda Lambert, Community Collaborative Charter School

143 K Loveland .jpg

Kenna Loveland, Valencia High School

218 M Lwe .jpg

Megan Lwe, Charter Oak High School

377 E Makoski .jpg

Eliot Makoski, Palo Alto High School

L Medina .jpg

Lexi Medina, California Virtual Academy

44 R Merkley .jpg

Ridge Merkley, South Tahoe High School

C Mojica .jpg

Christopher Mojica, Warren High School

86 S Mora .jpg

Sophia Mora, South Tahoe High School

M Muir .jpg

Makailla Muir, Apple Valley High School

173 A Nazabal .jpg

Arthur Nazabal, Apple Valley High School

196 K Phillips .jpg

Katelynn Philips, Charter Oak High School

472 G Real .jpg

Grace Real, El Dorado High School

192 G Ruiz .jpg

Guadalupe Ruiz, South Tahoe High School

359 J Ruiz .jpg

Jose Ruiz, South Tahoe High School

166 E Salas .jpg

Emilio Salas, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Acadmey

20 N Shaham .jpg

Nivi Shaham, Newbury Park High School

S Shaw .jpg

Simone Shaw, Palo Alto High School

509 F Teofan .jpg

Fabaina Teofan, Palo Alto High School

R Thompson.jpg

Robert Thompson, Oak Hills High School

118 H Tomas .jpg

Hjayro Tomas, Valencia High School

336 A Tran .jpg

Antares Tran, Palo Alto High School

270 W Villarino.jpg

William Villarino, Apple Valley High School

R Wenger .jpg

Rebecca Wenger, Cathedral City High School

482 M Wiener .jpg

Miranda Wiener, Palo Alto High School

449 C Williams.jpg

Caleb Williams, Canyon High School














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