American Legion Post 116 of Fuquay-Varina hosted the Division 3 High School Oratorical Scholarship Program competition at the post Feb. 9. The winner of the contest was Patrick Spain of Raleigh. Spain is a junior and is a homeschooled student. He is the son of David and Linda Spain.
The next step for the local winner is to compete at the state level. If he wins the division competition, he will go to the National competition in Indianapolis, Ind.
Each contestant delivered a prepared oration as well as an oration on a randomly assigned constitutional topic for an eight to 10-minute presentation. Spain impressed the judges with a speech titled, “The Taste of Freedom.”
Others competitors included Jonathan Elliot, Taylor Coble and Alexander Werden.
Elliot, of Linden, N.C., is a senior at Pine Forest Senior High and sponsored by American Legion Post 59 in Dunn, N.C. Coble is from Staley, N.C., and is a Junior at Eastern Randolph High School. Coble was sponsored by American Legion Post 81 in Liberty, N.C. Chapel Hill, N.C., resident Werden is a senior at Chapel Hill High and is sponsored by American Legion Post 6 in Chapel Hill.
Since 1938, the American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program has encouraged the nation’s high school students to study the U.S. Constitution and to hone their public speaking skills. The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students.
The contest is open to US citizens or lawful resident under the age of 20 and currently enrolled in ninth through 12th grades, is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and with public speaking skills that can help them with advancement in their chosen profession.
In addition to scholarship awards presented by local posts, the Department of North Carolina provides scholarships for participants of the division and department contests. The national organization provides scholarships for those who compete in the three rounds in Indianapolis with the top three contestants receiving $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000.
If you are a high school student, and would like to participate in next year’s High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, please contact you local American Legion Post for details.