Twelve high school students from around Wisconsin competed in the 76th Annual American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Contest at Ripon College Feb. 16.
Astha Berry, junior at Franklin High School, is this year’s winner and recipient of a $3,000 scholarship and is eligible for at least $5,000 more at the National Finals in Indianapolis April 19–21.
Sumaia Masoom, a junior at Platteville High School, was the first runner-up. Masoom, who was represented by American Legion Post 42, will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
Each contestant delivered a prepared oration about some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches were eight to ten minutes long. Three to five minute speeches on an assigned topic also were part of the contest.
Masoom spoke on “Lollipops, Spiderman and Gratitude: Our Great American Constitution.” She began with the analogy of lollipops and Spiderman being part of her early childhood and related it to the history of the development of the U.S. Constitution and its various articles and amendments. She highlighted the evolving U.S. Constitution and its amendments and how U.S. citizens need to be grateful for this document as well as protect it by being active and informed U.S. citizens.
High school students who are interested in entering the competition will find complete rules and contest information at www.wilegion.org.