You can talk your way through college if you’re a winner in the American Legion National High School Oratorical contest.
The Oratorical contest was developed primarily to instill a better knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States in high school students. Other objectives include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.
Another purpose of the program is to assist students in paying the high cost of a college education. The Department of Pennsylvania American Legion awards the first place winner a $7,500 scholarship, plaque and expense paid trip to the Pennsylvania American Legion State convention to present his/her winning oration, plus the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania in the National and Regional Contests and receive an additional $1,500 scholarship from the National Organization. The second place winner receives a $5,000 scholarship and plaque and the third place winner receives a $4,000 scholarship and plaque.
The winner of the Pennsylvania Oratorical contest will move onto the National American Legion Oratorical program and will be eligible to win $18,000 for first place, $16,000 for second place and $14,000 for third place. First round participants in the National contest receive a $1500 scholarship. Second Round participants who do not advance to the final round will receive an additional $1500 scholarship.
The contest will consist of two parts (A) An 8 – 10 minute, memorized oration will be given on some phase of the United States Constitution. (B) A 3 – 5 minute oration on one of the four “assigned topics” assigned by National Headquarters.
The contestant may not use any notes or prompts when giving their oration. A minimum of five (5) judges will judge all contests, grading independently. Local and county contest can be judged by a minimum of three (3) judges.
The tabulators will tabulate all scores of the judges and apply any penalties as directed by the Chairman of the contest. The Chairman will verify the result and announce the winners.