Two local students who attended 5th grade at Dingeman Elementary School last year were honored for their submissions to an annual creative writing contest. Alyssa Garcia won 1st place in the San Diego Celebrates America 2014 contest for her poem, America’s Heart. Rylie Washington earned the 3rd place award. “I was inspired by thoughts of loyalty, creativeness, fairness, and diversity,” Rylie said. “I was very surprised, happy, and proud when I learned that I placed third in the contest.” The contest is hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the American Immigration Council (AIC) and accepts poetry, essays, stories, or any other form of creative writing about the positive impact immigrants have made on the country. AIC arranges for presentations in fifth grade classrooms around San Diego, highlighting the importance of immigration in American history. Kimberley Best Robidoux, an AIC attorney on the contest committee, explained that the presentations are nonpolitical and the best part is hearing the students share stories about themselves and their own families. To learn more visit