Stacy Yakouba used her love of popular culture to create a winning cartoon.
The Liberty Middle School eighth-grader, along with more than 1,300 other students from around the country, entered the First Amendment Cartoon Contest.
“Our teacher had the whole class do it, and I didn’t want to get a zero for the unit so I just thought of what I liked and put it together.”
The contest was sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Courts in San Francisco, in partnership with the Constitutional Rights Foundation.
This was the first year of the contest, which was open to elementary, middle and high school students nationwide.
Yakouba’s cartoon features the entertainment news website, TMZ.com. Some of the staffers are talking about freedom of the press, and how they wouldn’t have jobs if it weren’t for this First Amendment right.
It took Yakouba about a week to complete the cartoon.
“It wasn’t the only thing I was working on, so it took a little time,” she said. “When I found out I’d received honorable mention, I felt really good and excited inside.”
Yakouba was one of only six middle school winners nationwide.
“Everyone tells me it will pay off in the future,” she said. “It shows I have commitment to finishing a project.”
In her free time, Yakouba enjoys acting, playing tennis, listening to music and being with her friends.
She is looking forward to acting in the Camas High School plays next year and wants to attend Stanford someday.
“They’re big on doctors and lawyers there but I’d really love to do something with the performing arts field,” she said. “It’s a big part of my life.”
For her efforts, Yakouba received a certificate and letter of appreciation from William C. Vickrey, administrative director of the courts.
“The contest judges were impressed with your art and the ideas expressed in the cartoon,” he said.
“We recognize the critical role that young people will have in the future of our democracy and thank you, your family and your school for doing all you are doing to further your civic education.”