The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of the 2024 National Civics Bee Thursday, Nov. 16, 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, the competition in Rio Rancho will inspire middle-schoolers to become better informed about American democracy, to engage respectfully and constructively in the community, and to build greater trust in others and institutions.

Middle school students from public, private, charter and home schools are invited to take part in the first-round civics essay competition. After a panel reviews the 500-word essays, the top 20 students will be selected to move on to the next round of competition: a live quiz event to test their civics knowledge. The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce will host this event at 5 p.m. April 25, 2024, at the Rio Rancho Public Schools District Training Center, 500 Laser Road.

The finalists and top winners will receive various prizes, including $500 cash for the first-place student.

“We are excited to host the National Civics Bee again this year to promote civic education and engagement among our youth. We hope that this event will inspire students to be engaged citizens and prepare them for their future,” said Jerry Schalow, president of the RRRCC.

The essay submission portal is open. The deadline for student essay submissions is Jan. 8. For more information on the essay topic, competition rules and prizes, and to submit an essay, visit