Out of an original 49 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 a.m. 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 Haley Bock of Indianapolis, Ian Chung of Vestal, N.Y. or Emma Johnson of Powell, Wyo. The second and third place winners after tomorrow’s competition will receive $22,500 and $20,000 scholarships respectively. Each of the 49 competitors are department (state or regional) champions.
The other 15 semi-finalists who competed in this afternoon’s competition are Mahee Haswani (Calif.), Mae Webster (Colo.), Nurfat Ishaque (Fla.), Andrew Fleming (Ga.), Bridger Benson (Idaho), Thanvee Paga (Iowa), India Young (Ky.), Andrew Kil (Mich.), Emily Aloise (N.H.), Guhan Krishnan (Ohio), Jesse LaBahn (Okla.), Henry Overbay (S.C.), Abigail Whicker (Tenn.), Trenton James McMillen (Va.) and Emma Lo (Wash.).
The contest, now in its 84th 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.