Madison Alabama American Legion Post 229

American Legion Oratorical Contest 2019, Madison Alabama

Calls were made to students from the 29 high schools across Madison County to participate in the 2019 Annual Madison County High School Oratorical Scholarship Program- A Constitutional Speech Contest on January 26th.  These included both public and private schools.  Competition information packages were sent to counselors at each of the schools.

The American Legion created this contest in order for high school students to develop and demonstrate a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. 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 $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year.

American Legion Post 229 Madison and Post 176, Post 237 and Post 351, all from Huntsville, were on hand to organize and conduct the competition.  Held at Madison City Hall, six high school students gathered to compete in the initial county-level contest for 2019 representing James Clemens High School and Providence Classical High School.  This year’s competitors were Mr. Paul St. John Lamey Jr., Ms. Emily Joy Drown, Ms. Anna Rebekah Sims, Mr. Isaac Jonathan Martin, Ms. Laura Charlotte Underwood, all from Providence Classical High School, and Mr. Aditya Singhal representing James Clemens High School.

Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Prepared speeches are eight to ten minutes long; In addition to prepared speeches a three- to five-minute speeches a randomly drawn topic also are part of the contest.

The winning students from the Madison County contest are:                                                                                          

1st place-Gold Medal  $300       Laura Charlotte Underwood       Providence Classical

2nd place- Silver Medal  $200   Emily Joy Drown                        Providence Classical

3rd place- Bronze Medal  $100  Anna Rebekah Sims                    Providence Classical

Winner of 2019 Madison County American Legion Oratorical Contest

L-R: Tom McKinney, Post 229 Americanism Chairman; Larry Vannoy, Post 229 Commander; Mr. Mike Underwood; Laura Charlotte Underwood, 1st Place Winner; Mrs. Lynn Underwood; and Carlos Woods, Madison County Commander

Ms. Underwood, the winner of the 2019 Madison County and District 12 American Legion competitions, will advance to the American Legion District 12 competition (Northern Alabama) scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 9th, held at the American Legion Post 15 Decatur.  She will compete against the winners of their respective County contests within District 12.  The Public is encouraged to attend and support these talented young people.

The winner of the District 12 competition will advance to the First Division competition that is scheduled for February 23rd at First Presbyterian Church, Decatur.  That winner will then advance to the Department of Alabama competition scheduled for March 9th, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama.  The National Finals are scheduled for April 5-7, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana where the Alabama candidate will compete with those from each State.    The National winner will be recognized during the 2019 National Convention.  At each stage of the competition, the winner will receive a check that can be used toward their college scholarship.


Participants of 2019 American Legion Madison County Oratorical Contest

L-R : Larry Vannoy, Post 229 Commander; Anna Rebekah Sims; Paul St. John Lamey Jr. and Emily Joy Drown, all of Providence Classical High School; Tom McKinney, Post 229 Americanism Chairman; Laura Charlotte Underwood, Providence Classical High School; Aditya Singhal, James Clemen High School; Isaac Jonathan Martin, Providence Classical High School; and Carlos Woods, Madison County Commander