INDIANAPOLIS, April 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A junior from Roxbury Latin School in Roxbury, Mass., capped a busy weekend of competition in Indianapolis by earning an $18,000 college scholarship and first place in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program – "A Constitutional Speech Contest." Andrew G. Steinberg's winning prepared oration was titled "The Constitution: A Lasting Legacy".
Steinberg, who lives in Newton, started the weekend as one of 53 state or department champions in the 80th annual contest. He advanced to the championship through three rounds of intense competition.
Robyn Anzulis, a high school junior from Woodbine, Md., earned a $16,000 college scholarship with a second place finish, while Chad Durante, a sophomore from Follansbee, W. Va., earned a $14,000 scholarship and finished third. The scholarships account for a small portion of post-secondary scholarships that The American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, awards annually.
In his prepared oration, Steinberg pointed out that current limitations to the constitutional right of free speech could lead to other erosions. "Imagine if we accept limits on our First Amendment rights. What other rights might be next?" he asked. "When crime is high, limit the Fifth Amendment, due process. Hey, maybe they're guilty anyway. Fourth Amendment, search and seizure? Who needs it? We'd catch a lot more criminals that way. Privacy, who cares if Facebook or Google or Amazon track where you are, record what you say, know what you buy, report it to Uncle Sam…and nobody is able to speak against it. Is it really that big a deal? Yes, actually it is."
In each round of the weekend competition, orators delivered a rehearsed 8- to 10-minute address and a randomly assigned 3- to 5-minute oration on a constitutional topic, each without the benefit of notes and in front of a live audience, including the judges. The 2.2-million member American Legion developed the contest to encourage young people to improve their communications skills and to study the U.S. Constitution. More than $3 million in scholarships have been awarded over the history of the contest.
Media Contacts: John Raughter (317) 441-8847 or Shayne Abrahams, (317)408-3381.
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SOURCE The American Legion