The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented 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.
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. 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 some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.
Take what you learn at Boys/Girls State and make it pay off!!!
State Oratorical Contest took place on February 18,2018.
Congratulations to all participants!!!
First Place - Justin Paik - Wheeler School
Second Place - David Cerullo - St. Andrews School
Third Place - Quinn Chappelle - Westerly High
Back Row Left to Right: Department Service Officer and Oratorical Chairman Ronald Levasseur, Department Commander Neil Tack, NEC and Oratorical Co-Chair Cory Bates. Front Row Left to Right: Quinn Chappelle, David Cerullo, Justin Paik, Zachary Payne and David Stamp.
The 2018 National Finals will be April 14-15 in Indianapolis at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN, 46241, (317) 248-2481. Quarterfinal and semifinal contests are scheduled for Saturday, April 14, with the finals scheduled for Sunday, April 15.
All contestants and chaperones will arrive the Friday of the contest weekend. All contestants and chaperones will stay at the official contest hotel.
A mandatory pre-contest orientation session for all contestants will take place the Friday evening of the contest weekend. A banquet honoring all contestants will be Sunday afternoon, following the national championship contest. All contestants and chaperones will depart for home later that afternoon.