WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Two high school juniors with an interest in the constitution competed in the American Legion 13th District Oratorical Competition Saturday.
“Especially in this time, the oratorical competition is very important for these students to understand the importance of the constitution and how it all fits in to what’s going on in our neck of the woods or our form of government today,” said Pete Eekhoff, 13th District commander of Texas American Legion.
Freshman to seniors in high school can participate in this annual competition.
“I’m planning to go to law school after college and I hope to become an attorney and I’ve always been interested in constitutional law,” said J.B. Lilley, a junior at Coram Deo Academy in Denton County.
For one student, Tina Majdinasab, she returned to compete for a second time.
“I kind of want to be a constitutional lawyer and go into government. So this was all a perfect combination for me and I loved the opportunity to meet all these new people and compete,” said Majdinasab, a junior at Rider High School.
Saturday was the second level of competition for Tina and J.B. Students compete first at a local American Legion post. The levels move forward to district, division, department, then national.
Both Tina and J.B. say they know the constitution may not be interesting to everyone their age, but they say everyone should take a moment and learn.
“We should know what rights we have and what responsibilities we do have to our government,” said Majdinasab.
“But more than that, it’s not just enough to know how it works. It’s also why it’s important,” said Lilley.
Competitors prepare five speeches but two are heard by judges. The first is a 8-10 minute speech about the constitution. The second is a 3-5 minute speech over one of four chosen amendment topics, which will be randomly drawn on the day of competition.
Lilley is advancing to the division level of competition on February 6 and won a $500 scholarship.
Each round up to nationals increases the scholarship amount.
To find out more about the competition, click here.