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High School Oratorical Contest

The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program - “A Constitutional Speech Contest”
Learning About Constitution; Earning Dollars for College


The Oratorical Scholarship Program is designed to help high school students develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Constitution of the United States. Other objectives are leadership, ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. High school students are eligible to compete, subject to the rules established by the National Americanism Commission.


The contest has two phases: prepared orations of eight to 10 minutes in length, and an assigned topic presentation from three to five minutes.

Department (state) level contests are usually held during the months of January through March. The national competition is conducted over a weekend, usually in April, in Indianapolis


Contestants for the Department Competitions are chosen through County, District and Zone competitions in the month of January each year. American Legion Greenlawn Post 1244 has been fortunate to be able to sponsor three contestants each year from St. Pius V School in Melville, NY for at least the past 8 years. We have had a number of County, District and at least one Department of New York champion. 

Scholarships are awarded at most levels of competition. At the national level, first place receives $18,000; second, $16,000; and third, $14,000. Each department winner who competes in the first round of the national contest will receive a $1,500 scholarship.
Since 2010, The American Legion has established a collaborative relationship with the National Forensic League, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit honorary society recognized as a premier high school speech and debate organization in the United States.

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