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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