American Legion seeking oratorical contest participants

Published 2:50 pm Monday, December 11, 2017


PELHAM – High school student’s grades nine through 12, in the city of Pelham and the surrounding areas, are invited to participate in American Legion Matthew Blount Post 555’s 80th Annual American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program.

The invitation to enter the competition was extended by Post 555 Commander Tom McDaniel and Post 555 Oratorical Chairperson Richard Kaster.

The oratorical contest presents the nation’s high school participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of the nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.

Not only does this opportunity provide students with an academic challenge, but young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships are awarded each year. High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. The Alabama oratorical state winners will be awarded scholarships of $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place.

In addition to those awards, scholarships of $18,000, $16,000, and $14,000 will be awarded to the first through third place winners in the national finals.

Each state winner who competes in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship. Participants in the second round who do not advance to the national round will receive an additional $1,500 scholarship.

The top three youth orators who have won all previous elimination rounds of the contest will compete for top honors in the national contest in April 2018 in Indianapolis.

The American Legion will pay the expenses for the state winners to travel to the national contest. High school students who are interested in entering the competition can contact their nearest American Legion Post.

For more information, contact Richard Kaster 243- 0763 or