The American Legion National Oratorical Contest exists to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. The 70-year-old program presents participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, and the ability to speak intelligently on their knowledge and understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.
Featured in this year’s event were competitors that began at the post level and advanced to our state competition.Pictured is the 2011 winning orator Christian Fernandez with the Department Commander Albert Porter. Christian’s oration “Defending The Constitution” impressed all in attendance at this years event.Standing before us was a young man with such confidence in his words that as an audience member you felt inspired by his knowledge of the constitution and his ability to defend his belief on the constitutions core meaning with ease and enthusiasm.
As each year passes the talent that comes through these doors is, in one word, impressive. The American Legion, Department of Florida, wishes the absolute best to each student participant in this year’s competition. The Department 1st place recipient, Christian Fernandez, received $2,500; the 2nd place recipient, Connor Stonesifer, received $1,500; the 3rd place recipient, Carolin Schechinger, received $1,000; the 4th, 5th, & 6th place recipients, Eric Winningham, Constance Hackler, and Jackie Kroeger each received $500 to assist in their continued educational goals.The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000.