The High School Oratorical Scholarship Program
"A Constitutional Speech Contest"
Post 251 held their Oratorical Contest on
Saturday January 30, 2016
From Left to Right, Jeanne Jones, Anna Hemingway, Andrew Logan, Maysun Cardwell, Richard Wyckstandt
And the Winners Are
First Place - Andrew Logan, 11th Grade at Johns Creek High School
Second Place - Maysun Cardwell, 12th Grade at Mill Creek High School
Third Place - Anna Hemingway, 9th Grade at Lambert High School
Post 251 normally holds their High School Oratorical Scholarship Program in late January or early February. Please contact the Post for the exact date. Students who compete can win scholarship money of $250 for first place, $200 for second place, and $150 for third place. Contestants are encouraged to begin preparition for their oration in October or November so they are well rehearsed for the day of the competition.
The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. The 78-year-old program presents participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.
Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year. The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion’s National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.
Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to ten minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.
The contest starts at the local Post level and progresses to a District contest (there are 12 Districts in Georgia), the Area competition (there are four Areas) and the Department, or State Contest. Along the way cash awards and other recognitions are given the participants and winners, and the winner of the State contest may have accumulated as much as $2,200-$2,300 in cash awards. The Post competition generally starts in January or February of each year and progresses to District, Area and State in subsequent weeks, with the National Contest conducted in mid-April.
Assigned Topics for 2016 Oratorical Contest
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Article 1 Section 9 Paragraph 2
The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
Article 1 Section 6 Clause 1
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
To Learn more visit the American Legion Oratorical Contest page.
9th District High School Oratorical Contest
Winners of the Individual Post Contests within the 9th District will compete at the 9th District High School Oratorical Contest which will be held at Post 251 in Duluth, GA on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 10am.
Area 3 High School Oratorical Contest
Winners of the 9th, 10th, and 11th District contests will compete in the Area 3 High School Oratorical Contest which will be held at the Albert Gordon Post 56 in Jefferson. GA on Sunday February 21, 2016 at 1pm.