American Legion Oratorical Contest held at GHS

Greybull High School was the site of the recent District 4 competition in the American Legion Oratorical Contest, which exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students.
The district competition produced a winner in Riley Laffin, a Lovell High School senior, who went on to also win the state competition held last weekend.  The other participant in the district contest was Audrey Johnson, who attends Powell High School.
Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.
Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $203,500 in scholarships can be awarded each year.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.
Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.
Bobby Werner, commander of American Legion Post 32 in Greybull, said the assigned topic for the district contest was the constitutional amendment that talks about the transfer of power should a president become incapacitated.
He lamented the fact that no students from south Big Horn County participated this year, which meant there was no need for a post contest. “It’s a great opportunity for high school students to garner some scholarship money,” he said.
Students who think they might want to participate next year are encouraged to contact their high school guidance counselor’s office for more details.