Kennedy Student Goes to American Legion National Oratorical Contest


@crkennedyhigh Facebook

Tori recieved an award for her speech.

Paxton Hamilton-Bailey, Writer

Sophomore Tori Paga is going to Indianapolis to compete in the American Legion National Oratorical Contest on Friday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23.  She wrote a speech about how the Constitution gave Americans democracy, this speech would lead her to win the state competition.

The American Legion National Oratorical Contest is a speech competition focused around the U.S. Constitution. To participate, the student must write an eight to 10 minute speech about something they want changed or something they’re passionate about, in the U.S. Constitution. 

The program was made in 1938 as a way to get students to learn about the Constitution and why it’s important. By giving students the opportunity to earn scholarships they have more motivation to participate and get experience in the real world. 

“I feel like people forget the original intent of the constitution, because there are so many interpretations,” Paga said. “People like to berate the constitution and forget how much we’ve already done.”

Paga gets $2,000 for participating at nationals and another $2,000 if she makes it to the second round. Paga can win a $25,000 scholarship if she wins the national competition, $22,500 for second and $20,000 for third. A lot is at stake on stage, in that moment she is remembering why she was there.

“When I’m on stage, my mind is either going through everything that has gotten me here or it’s blank,” Paga said.

Paga hopes her speech will remind people to stick together even when people have different opinions.

“It’s important to look to the future but you can only do that by remembering what you’ve done in the past, because the past shows you how to advance,” Paga said. “At the core of the ideology that created this country, it was supposed to be good.”