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American Legion National Oratorical Contest

October 12, 2009

by Emily

Are you an aspiring politician, skilled speech-writer, or an excellent orator? Perhaps you just want to learn more about the United States Constitution and share what you've learned. If you're passionate about government or public speaking, or if you're looking to improve your knowledge of each while potentially winning scholarships, this week's Scholarship of the Week is worth checking out.

The American Legion National Oratorical Contest is an annual scholarship for high school students. It's divided into local, state, and national speech competitions, with scholarship opportunities existing at the state and national levels, and potentially the local level, as well. The top scholarship prize is $18,000 and the contest is open to students in grades 9-12. The goal of the contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students.

Prize: State/department winners will receive $1,500 and go on to compete in the national finals; national prizes are as follows:

  • 1st place - $18,000
  • 2nd place - $16,000
  • 3rd place - $14,000

Eligibility: Currently enrolled high school students, grades 9-12, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Contestants must either live or attend school in the state where they enter the competition. Students can only compete in one state.

Deadline: Varies. Local contests occur during fall/winter, with state-level competitions concluding before March 8, 2010. The national finals will take place April 9-11, 2010.

Required Material: To be eligible for department and national finals, students must enter through their local American Legion. Dates, locations, and contact information for local contests can be accessed through the American Legion website. The contest will have two parts: a Prepared Oration and an Assigned Topic Discourse. The Prepared Oration must be on some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.  The same oration must be used in both the department and national contests. The possible topics for the Assigned Topic discourse are available on the American Legion website.

Further details about the application process can be found by conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. Once the search is completed, students eligible for this scholarship award will find it in their search results.


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