UNION, NJ – Jenna Smith, a Scotch Plains resident who attends the Kent Place School in Summit, has advanced to the district championship of the High School Oratorical Scholarship Contest, sponsored by the American Legion on Saturday.

“I had a great experience throughout the contest,” said Smith, who competed against and Destiny Tullis, 17, a junior at Union High, on Saturday. “It has helped me develop my public speaking skills and allowed me to learn more about American History. I can’t wait to go onto the District competition.”

The national speech contest, created to help develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution among high school students, consists of the memorized speech on the Constitution as well as a three- to five-minute impromptu speech about one of the amendments. The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant.

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Smith and Tullis won the American Legion Post first-round contests, moving them onto the County contest. Smith now moves on to the District round. The District winner moves on to the State and then National contests. The first-place winner of the national contest wins an $18,000 college scholarship, followed by $16,000 for second place and $14,000 for third.

Students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to participate in the contest. Each student must prepare a speech on some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with the emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen of the government.

For more information about the contest, visit https://www.legion.org/oratorical