High school students in Texas County are encouraged to participate in the 88th Annual High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, A Constitutional Speech Contest. Students can earn in excess of $35,000.
More than $200,000 in scholarships are awarded annually. Eight students participating in the state semi-finals will receive a generous scholarship to Drury University, provided the student(s) attend there. The three students who become finalist in the national contest will advance to the National Speech and Debate Association contest in June 2022.
The purpose of the contest is to develop knowledge and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution, the ability to think and speak clearly and critically, the ability to speak before others, and the acceptance of duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The contest meets the guidelines of the Missouri State High School Activities Association of Secondary School Principals.
Junior and senior high school students (9th – 12th grades) who are citizens of the United States under the age of 20 may participate. Students must be enrolled in Missouri high school or junior high school (public, parochial, military or private). Home schooled students may participate if their course of instruction satisfies state law.
Competition starts with each school submitting one contestant to the local American Legion Post for sponsorship. Contestants advance from the high school to the county, district, zone and state competition in that order. The winner of the state competition receives an all expense trip to Indianapolis to compete in the national contest.
Every junior and senior high school principal and speech instructor in Missouri has received information on this contest. Students wishing to learn more about this contest may contact their school counselor, or go to www.missourilegion.org/oratorical for a complete guide to the contest, and how to become certified as a participant. Students must be certified at the high school level before Nov 30.
For further information about The American Legion and the more than 200 programs it sponsors nationally, contact the local or nearest American Legion Post or call 573-893-2353.