Front Row L-R:  Terry Gilbert, Vice Commander, Oratorical Chair, Scarlett Sweckard, Smeet Jaokar, Neha Ramachandran, Kaaviya Shenbaharaman, Ed Reed, Post 178 Commander.
Back Row L-R: Varad Kulkarni, Sankeertana Malakapalli, Dhyana Ramakrishnan, Jyothirmayi Seelam, Rudrani Dutta, Elizan Ramos.

The American Legion Post 178 Oratorical Scholarship Contest had a record number of high school orators participate in its 2023 contest. Four winners were selected from eleven orators, and each received a $500 college scholarship to any college of their choosing. The contest was held at The Grove at Frisco Commons on Saturday, December 9. The four winning orators will now compete at the district contest in Royse City on January 6, 2024, along with other post winners from the 4th District.

Each contestant delivered a prepared oration as well as an oration on a randomly assigned constitutional topic. The four winners selected were Scarlett Sweckard, Smeet Jaokar, Neha Ramachandran, and Kaaviya Shenbaharaman.

The American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Program began in 1938 and encourages high school students to study the U.S. Constitution and improve their public speaking skills. Post 178 annually holds this contest for high school students to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution. The contest presents 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.