Hometown Heroes - American Legion speech contest

Up to 20K in scholarships
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 3:45 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Members of the American Legion in Southwest Louisiana have been busy lately encouraging high school students to get involved in this year’s American Legion Oratorical Contest.

After taking a break the last couple of years, the program, which started in 1938, offers excellent scholarship opportunities and helps develop leadership skills for students in grades 9-12.

“We want to develop young leaders,” says Kelly Miseles, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “This is something that helps do that. They learn about the responsibilities of a citizen: how does the constitution apply to me as just a kid or as a citizen? They learn that in this process.”

Ed Hudson, who is a Vietnam-era veteran and member of American Legion Post 551 in Lake Charles, says the constitutional speech contest offers many benefits.

“It’s about learning how to be a good citizen,” explains Hudson. “So you’re learning about the constitution, plus you’re going to earn some money for doing that. The better you are, the more you make.”

Over the years, the program has featured numerous politicians like Alan Keyes, Lou Dobbs, and former vice president Mike Pence.

“This program, I believe, is a great resume builder for these high schoolers,” said Karl Christensen, Post 1 Commander. “It’s also a great way for them to learn leadership, to be young leaders and future leaders for our communities.”

The local preliminary gets underway on December 3, 2022, and applications are now being taken at American Legion posts in Southwest Louisiana. Interested students should get in touch with their high school counselor.