Study Hard, Win Big
When middle schooler Aarit first heard about the National Civics Bee® from his social studies teacher, he had no clue what civics even meant. But that didn’t stop this ambitious student from Jackson Township, Ohio from going on to win the state competition hosted by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
In preparation for the Bee, Aarit immersed himself in quizzes, study guides, and various resources, including a visit to the library that resulted in an impressive haul of 45 books. Even with the state competition held over the summer break, he remained dedicated, continuing to study and prepare. He reminds us that when it comes to learning about civics, there’s no such thing as an insurmountable starting line. “If you know something about civics—great. Then test your knowledge. If you know nothing, well, I was the one who knew nothing,” he shared.
For the essay portion of the competition, Aarit wrote about the need to protect our environment. His words shed light on the prevalent tendency of people to downplay the severity of environmental issues, challenging the notion that these problems won’t directly impact us.
When the moment arrived for Aarit to present in front of the judges, he drew on his past public speaking experiences, successfully overcoming any nerves. Beyond the realm of civics, Aarit participates in debates and enjoys reading, sketching, and robotics.
All his hard work was worth it. Not just for the tangible reward—a significant check that acknowledged his efforts—but for the less visible, yet more impactful, prize: confidence in his understanding of the world around him. “I feel more educated about what’s happening in my community. Now I can finally understand what they are saying on the news…I feel like I can make a big impact, and I can be a better citizen after knowing all of this,” Aarit reflects.
Aarit’s experience sends an important message to students everywhere. The National Civics Bee® is not merely a test of what you already know; it’s an invitation to grow. “It’s an opportunity to know more. After all, you should know civics to be a good citizen.”