Wednesday, May 1, 2013
A senior from Berkeley Middle College High School capped a busy weekend of competition in Indianapolis by earning an $16,000 college scholarship and second place in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program – “A Constitutional Speech Contest.”
Berkeley Middle College student Elizabeth Scannell delivered a winning oration titled “The Constitution: An American Position Descripton.”
In her prepared oration, she compared the nation's founding document to a job description.
“This document unites our country under the axiom, 'in order to form a more perfect Union,'” she said. “It relies on a fundamental trust between us and the obligations to our government. As citizens we must be engaged with our policy makers, strive for common ground with our neighbors, and preserve the principles of our Constitution.”
She implored Americans to examine their obligations to their country:“I now ask every American to do a short performance appraisal based on our obligation and duties as members of this great nation.
“Are you competent in required skills or knowledge? As Thomas Jefferson stated, 'If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.'”
The competition was won by Agnes Rieger of Kansas City, Mo., who earned an $18,000 scholarship. Her winning oration was titled, “Let's Talk About Pennsylvania.”
Third place and a $14,000 scholarship went to Rachel Schartz of Humboldt, S.D. The awards account for a small portion of the post-secondary scholarships that The American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, awards annually.