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California High School



The Whittier Union High School District and California High School are committed to achieving and maintaining excellence by providing all students with an engaging, quality, standards-based instructional program delivered by a well-trained staff. Within its comprehensive educational program, the District is committed to offering an exemplary program for gifted and talented students, from all special populations, to maximize their potential. Comparable GATE programs exist at all five comprehensive high schools, each with a paid Site Coordinator, and supervised by a District GATE Coordinator.


Click here for more in-depth information about the district's GATE program i.e. classes offered, the selection process, and advisory committees.
It's never too early to start looking for college scholarships. Check out for information on scholarships. 
Contests: great Senior Project topics and field work ideas!:
Click here for a list of contests in a wide variety of subjects. Earn money for college, use the contests as field work for your Senior project, or just explore topics that interest you.
First Freedom Student Competition
Senior Project Idea! Research and explore religion in the schools and compete in a scholarship contest! 
The First Freedom Student Competition is a first-semester national essay and video contest. It offers high-school students an opportunity to compete for $2500 awards as they examine the history and current-day relevance of religious freedom, and then, by written essay or video production, present their evaluation.  Online registration deadline is November 12, 2012.
Americanism Essay Contest For Grades 7 - 12      2011-2012 Theme: What Freedom of Speech Means to Me 

Senior Project Idea!! Research freedom of speech in America, in your school, or in the world and enter a contest. The essay contest’s grand national prize is the winner and a parent or guardian will travel at Association expense to Washington, D.C. to visit the White House, Supreme Court and Capitol Hill to include a meeting and/or photo opportunity with his/her U.S. Representative or Senator(s), depending upon availability with cash prizes of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000 to each first, second, and third place winners in grades seven through twelve.

Ayn Rand Essay Contests

Senior Project Idea! Enjoy reading? Interested in conservative economics and political thought? Select a novel by Rand and enter the essay contest to win prizes. You can choose from "Anthem," "The Fountainhead, " "Altas Shrugged," or "We the Living." 
Ayn Rand’s novels are inspiring and intellectually challenging. But they can also be financially rewarding for high school and college students. The Ayn Rand Institute sponsors annual essay contests that offer 600 prizes and $100,000 in prize money every year. 
The Profile in Courage Essay Contest 
Senior Project Idea! High school students consider the concept of political courage by writing an essay on a U.S. elected official who has chosen to do what is right, rather than what is expedient. A “Profile in Courage” essay is a carefully researched recounting of a story: the story of how an elected official risked his or her career to take a stand based on the dictates of conscience, rather than the dictates of polls, interest groups or even constituents. The contest challenges high school students to discover new profiles in courage, and to therefore research and write about acts of political courage that occurred after the publication of Kennedy's Profiles in Courage in 1956.
The winner of the competitive annual contest is awarded a $10,000 prize and is invited to accept the award at the Profile
in Courage Award ceremony hosted each May by Caroline Kennedy at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. The student’s nominating teacher receives a John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant in the amount of $500 and is also invited to attend the Profile in Courage Award ceremony.  A second place winner receives $1,000 and up to five finalists each receive $500. Contest deadline is January 5, 2013.
Thacher Environmental Research Contest 

The Thacher Environmental Research Contest (formerly the Thacher Scholars Award) is a national competition for secondary school students founded by IGES in honor of former IGES board member Peter Thacher, who died in 1999. Peter Thacher was former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), deputy executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), NASA advisor and, at the time of his death, president of the Earth Council Foundation/U.S. He was a leader in promoting the use of satellite remote sensing.

Prizes are awarded annually to secondary school students (grades 9-12) designing and conducting the best projects using satellite remote sensing of the Earth. Three cash awards will be given – 1st place – $2,000, 2nd place – $1,000 and 3rd place – $500.

More contests!
Interested in global topics? Check out these contests to earn money, or amp up your senior project!


Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions. Students who have been recommended for the GATE program and been accepted will be notified by letter.

Gifted and Talented Coordinator
 Curriculum Coordinator
Ms. Lora Yorch
562-698-8121 ext. 3222