Three High School Orators to Face Off Sunday for Top National Honor in American Legion Competition
INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2022) – Out of an original 50 contestants, only three remain as finalists in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, “A Constitutional Speech Contest.” The three survived two intense rounds of competition today and will vie for the championship during tomorrow’s finals which will be webcast live at 10 am Eastern Time on www.legion.org and on Facebook live at The American Legion National Headquarters page.
The top prize, a $25,000 scholarship, will be awarded to Emma Noble of Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson Boone of Calvert City, Ky; or Ashley Tuell of Johnson City, Tenn. The second and third place winners after tomorrow’s competition will receive $22,500 and $20,000 scholarships respectively. Each of the 50 competitors are department (state or regional) champions.
The other 15 semi-finalists who competed in this afternoon’s competition are Mattingly Watson (Ark.), Caleb Rasor (Ariz.), Anna Lichtenberg (Conn.), Eden Wood (Ind.), Olivia Scott (Iowa), Jha Diya (Md.), Megan Blonigen (Minn.), Valerie McDonnell (N.H.), Ian Chung (N.Y.), Ian Holdman (Okla.), Anwen Hefner (Pa.), William Sander (S.C.), Thomas Haar (S.D.), Aya Kasim (Texas) and Erin Mitchell (Wash.).
The contest, now in its 83rd year, encourages young Americans to improve their communications skills and study the U.S. Constitution. Approximately 6,000 high school students begin competition annually at The American Legion post-community level. More than $3 million in scholarships have been awarded since the inception of the program. The national contestants all competed in Indianapolis, the headquarters city for The American Legion. Previous champions include former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, the late Sen. Frank Church and writer Brent Bozell.Jr. Former Vice President Mike Pence and commentator Lou Dobbs are past state champions.