By Sara Guernsey/Staff Writer/@saraguernsey1

In celebration of National Women’s History Month, LBCC is revamping its annual creative essay writing contest. A discussion panel has been added for contestants to meet the subjects of their essays in person on Thursday, March 24, in P104 at the LAC. Camille Bolton, ASB Cabinet adviser said it will be a “live prompt.”
Every March, the English Majors and Minors Club and Student Life co-sponsor an essay contest. The prompt for this year’s contest is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service.” Bolton said, “This year, we’re kicking it up a notch by finding LBCC women in public service.”
The addition is the first time that a panel has been included in the contest honoring women’s history. Panel speakers are to include Hawaiian Gardens City Councilwoman Myra Maravilla and former Mayor of Long Beach Beverly O’Neill. Bolton said, “It is really cool to have both of these women on the panel because they are both at such different points in their career. Myra is at the beginning and Beverly has been doing this for years.”
Maravilla attended LBCC from 2006 to 2009. She was elected to the Hawaiian Gardens City Council in November and sworn in as a member of the council in December. She is an employee of LBCC who works as senior administrative assistant for the Academic Senate. She said, “I am humbled to be a panelist for Women’s History Month alongside two very distinguished women. As a young Latina woman, I thank my fellow panelists for raising the glass ceiling for women in my generation.”
O’Neill has a long history with LBCC. She was a student, music professor, and the first female president of the college. She served three terms as the mayor of Long Beach and was the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Harry Saltzgaver, executive editor of Gazette Newspapers, quoted President Bill Clinton, saying, “It was my pleasure to work with Mayor Beverly O’Neill and I admire her political leadership in turning Long Beach around to be the destination city it is today.”
Female and male students are invited to attend the panel discussion and to participate in the contest. The essays are due Friday, April 1. More information about the contest and the panel discussion can be found in the Fishbowl in the E Building at the LAC.
Cash prizes for the winning essays will be awarded at a reception Thursday, April 28, when the winners will be invited to read their essays aloud. The first place-winner will be awarded $400, second place will receive $200 and third place will receive $100.