Young Women’s Leadership Academy lands 16 finalists for annual El Paso History Day

Sixteen students from Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) were named finalists in the city for their entries at the 22nd annual El Paso History Day.

This year, the event was held as a virtual competition, drawing entries from 140 students hailing from more than 200 high schools and middle schools in the region.

In addition, nine YWLA finalists are advancing to the Texas History Day state tournament that takes place in late April – they are Angelina Apodaca, Anabella Arias, Brenda Bralich, Zipporah Gomez, Nicole Loy, Sofia McMahon, Natalie Moses, Alyssa Ochoa, and Allison Soto.

El Paso History Day is organized by UTEP. Students choose historical topics related to a theme – this year’s theme was Communications in History – and conduct extensive research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites.

After analyzing, interpreting, and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work to panels of professional historians and educators in five categories: Exhibit, Paper, Website, Performance, and Documentary.

The competition enables students to learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills; research and reading skills; oral and written communication and presentation skills; self-esteem and confidence; and a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.

In addition, YWLA teacher Peter Bralich was awarded the El Paso County Historical Commission Award for Outstanding Teacher Dedication to History Day, which is sponsored by the El Paso County Historical Commission.

The 16 YWLA student finalists are listed below:

First-place winners:

Senior Group Documentary: Anabella Arias and Brenda Bralich

Senior Group Exhibit: Allison Soto and Natalie Moses

Senior Individual Exhibit: Angelina Apodaca

Senior Individual Website: Nicole Loy


Second-place winners:

Senior Group Exhibit: Zipporah Gomez and Sofia McMahon

Senior Individual Exhibit: Alyssa Ochoa


Third-place winners:

Senior Individual Paper: Nicole Marin

Senior Individual Website: Ashley Leyva


Fourth-place winners:

Senior Group Exhibit: Alicia Chavez and Fernanda Rios

Senior Individual Paper: Ibana Delgado

Senior Individual Exhibit: Ydaliz Lopez

Senior Individual Website: Arianna Espino