INDIANAPOLIS – A home schooled senior from Indianapolis won first place and a $25,000 college scholarship in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program -“A Constitutional Speech Contest,” according to a press release sent from the organization.
The winner, Haley Bock, won with a speech titled, “The Black Hole of American Democracy: American Territories are Where Voting Rights Vanish.”
Bock spoke about Luis Segovia, a U.S. citizen and Guam resident who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard. “Luis Segovia was willing to give his life for his country,” she said. “He protected Iraqi citizens’ right to vote. But back home in America, Luis, along with four million residents of the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands were denied their right to vote.”
“They’re calling out but they’ve yet to be heard,” she concluded. “So, who will give them their voice? When will we all speak out, rise together, and grant those the rights they too have fought for and deserve?”
Ian Chung, a senior from New York, also earned a $22,500 scholarship with a second place finish. The third place finish went to 11th grade student, Emma Johnson, from Wyoming. She was awarded a $20,000 scholarship.
The American Legion developed the contest to encourage young people to improve their communication.
More than $3 million in scholarships have been awarded over the history of the contest.