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American Legion Post 404 kicks off The American Legion High School Oratorical Contest

posted Nov 20, 2015, 5:48 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 5:49 AM ]
Each year The Department of North Carolina joins the 54 other departments and the over 10,000 local posts in The American Legion High School Oratorical Contest.
William Hemphill, American Legion Post 404, Elizabethtown,  is this year’s Chairman of the Oratorical Contest and Walter Drummond of Post 404 is the CoChair.
Chairman Hemphill said this is the first year Post 404 has sponsored the contest and he is looking forward to the possibility of someone in Bladen County receiving at least one of the top 3 scholarships. The schools eligible for participation are East Bladen High School, John R. Brown Leadership Academy and West Bladen High School.
CoChair Drummond said the guidance counselors at the schools had already been contacted and provided with the appropriate paperwork.
The contest, open to US citizens or lawful residents under the age of 20 and currently enrolled in grade 9-12, is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the US Constitution and with public speaking skills that can help them with advancement in their chosen profession.
Any student interested in participating In this year’s Oratorical Contest should contact their guidance counselor as soon as possible to get the process started.
The individual schools will screen their applicants on December 18, 2015. Then, during January 2 – 12, 2016 Post 404 will select the applicant to go forward to the district competition. The exact date of Post 404’s judging has not been determined at this time but will be between the 2nd and 12th of January, 2016. The individual selected by the post will then go on to compete in the district competition February 7 – 20, 2016. Once the district competition has been completed, the selected applicants will go on to the department competition on March 5, 2016.
The post competition will consist of 5 judges, a timer and 2 ushers. Each student will be required to answer a series of questions about the Constitution in a timed scenario. 
School winners have the opportunity to compete in and advance past county, district and division contests to reach the department contest. Department winners travel to The American Legion's national headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana where they can advance through 3 rounds of contests (quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals) to become the national champion.
In addition to scholarship awards presented by local posts the Department of North Carolina provides scholarships for participants of the division and department contests. The national organization provides scholarships for those who compete in the 3 rounds in Indianapolis with the top 3 contestants receiving $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000.
Complete rules can be obtained by clicking the links below, contacting NC Department Headquarters or by visiting the national headquarters web page.
Click on the links below for complete contest rules or contact the NC Department Headquarters for information on contests and scholarships up to and including the department finals.