Each year The Department of North Carolina joins 54 other departments and over 10,000 local posts in the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest. The purpose of this “Constitutional Speech Contest” is for high school and junior high school students to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the United States Constitution. This contest also aims to develop the students’ leadership skills, the ability to think and speak clearly and intellectually; and to prepare them for the acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, and the rights and privileges of American citizenship.
Amount: Up to $18,000 (Prizes will vary depending on the Level of Competition)
Number of Scholarship Awards: Varies
GPA: This contest does not have a minimum GPA requirement
Major: The contest does not require its participants to be in a specific field of study
Eligible Students: High school and junior high school students
– Must be a United States citizen or a lawful resident
– Must be under 20 years of age
– Must be enrolled in grade 9-12
To participate in the Legion’s State Oratorical Contests, you should ask your guidance counselor if the school you’re attending has this contest. If not, then you can contact Bob Welch at (704) 650-3763 or email him at [email protected] You can also visit the nearest American Legion Post in your area.
The American Legion Department of North Carolina will hold the State contest at:
Hickory Grove United Methodist Church
6401 Hickory Grove Road,
Charlotte, NC 28215
Each contestant is given an 8-10 minute prepared speech on what it means to be a citizen under the United States Constitution. Each contestant will also be required to speak 3-5 minutes on an assigned topic. The topic will be drawn during the contest from a list of 4 predefined topics. Once drawn, the selected topic will be the same for all participating contestants.
The Judges will score each contestant based on the following:
a. Originality, freshness, directness, application of knowledge of topic – 16 points
b. Skills in selecting examples, description, analogies, and specific data – 16 points
c. Logic – 16 points
d. Comprehensiveness of knowledge – 22 points
B. Speaking Skills
a. Voice and diction – 10 points
b. Style: language, usage, word arrangement, transition, and word selection – 10 points
c. Body actions: poise, eye contact, posture, and gestures – 10 points
Note: The total points will also be divided for the Prepared Orientation and the Assigned Topic. There will also be a 1-10 point deduction for failure to speak on the U.S. Constitution.
School winners will have the chance to compete in and advance past the county, district, and division contests to participate in the department contest. The Department winners will then have the opportunity to participate in the national contest at the American Legion’s national headquarters in Indianapolis.
The American Legion Department of North Carolina
4 North Blount Street
Raleigh, NC 27611
Phone: (919) 832-7506
Phone: (704) 650-3763
Email: [email protected]