The Calvert County Council of American Legion Posts held their annual Oratorical Contest on Saturday, January 23, at the American Legion Arick L. Lore Post 274, Lusby, MD.
Lilianna Covarrubias, a freshman at West Lake High School, placed first. Her speech dealt with how important it is for her generation to develop an interest in government and the Constitution. She credits her teacher, Surjo Bandyopadhyay, for encouraging her to participate in the competition. Ms. Covarrubias now has the opportunity to compete at the district level against winners of contests in other communities. The district contest will be held on Saturday, February 20, at the American Legion Post 259, Clinton, MD.
Julianna Covarrubias, a sophomore at West Lake School, placed second. Lilianna and Julianna Covarrubias are the daughters Victor and Kelly Covarrubias. Dalton Newsom, a junior at Patuxent High School placed third. Dalton is the son of Tina and McGarren Newsom. Each contestant won a cash prize and will be eligible to compete next year.
The Oratorical Contest allows students from area high schools compete in a two-part contest. Students are first required to give a prepared oration on some phase of the Constitution of the United States, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the United States government. This oration must be the original effort of the contestant and be 8-10 minutes in length.
In the second part, an amendment or article to the Constitution is chosen at random with each student providing a 3-5 minute extemporaneous speech about the subject. This year the article chosen at random was Article I, Section 7, which deals with “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”
The chair of the Calvert County Council of American Legion Posts Oratorical Contest, Jon Baki said, “Each contestant did an excellent job. Their speeches showed a great deal of thought and preparation. We are very proud to have the opportunity to sponsor this annual competition giving our students opportunities to learn more about the Constitution and their Country.”
Since 1938, the American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program has encouraged the nation’s high school students to study the U.S. Constitution and to hone their public speaking skills. Students compete at local, district, state and national levels with the opportunity to win money and scholarships. The winner at the national level is eligible for a $25,000 scholarship. For more information, please visit www.legion.org/oratorical.
The Calvert County Council of American Legion Posts includes American Legion Calvert Post 85, American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206, American Legion Gray-Ray Post 220, and American Legion Arick L. Lore Post 274. To learn more about membership or other programs provided by the American Legion contact your local American Legion Post.
American Legion Calvert Post 85, 410-535-3341, www.americanlegioncalvertpost85.org
American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206, 301-855-6466, www.alpost206.org
American Legion Gray-Ray Post 220, 410-535-1477, www.facebook.com/American-Legion-Gray-Ray-Post-220-1415589198739995/
American Legion Arick L. Lore Post 274, 410-326-3274, www.facebook.com/American.Legion.Post.274.Lusby
For more information or photos:
Joyce Baki, Oratorical Contest Co-Chair
Calvert County Council of American Legions
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 274
Joyce Baki / Special to the Calvert Beacon