Junior Wins First Place In Oratorical Contest


Gabby Woodie

American Legion representative, Wayne Haver, awards Tu Nguyen with the check.

Trista Truong, Editor

   Winning first place in the American Legion Oratorical Contest, junior Tu Nguyen received a $750 award from Wayne Haver. The oratorical contest consisted of a memorized ten minute speech on the U.S. Constitution. An additional five minute speech followed, with the topic chosen from four prompts. The contestant prepared a speech for all the prompts, but the topic reveal occurs at the competition.

   “The topic that was selected this year for the small speech was the 3rd Amendment and regarding quartering of soldiers. I think the biggest challenge is to memorize the speeches because you actually have to prepare five and they are randomly picked among four, so you have to memorize all of them and be able to speak that particular topic they chose,” Nguyen said.

   To qualify for state, Nguyen won first place in regionals and got certified. Certified means she delivered the speech at least three times for three different audiences. To qualify for Nationals, the speaker has to win first place in State. Nationals will be hosted in Indianapolis, Indiana.

   “I feel really happy because last year I had such a great time at State and I actually really want to experience Nationals because you meet so many cool people there,” Nguyen said.

   Nguyen delivered her speech to four judges and was critiqued in multiple categories such as delivery, posture, etc.

   “She’s very confident, very smooth, her Constitution speech was very good and she was certainly prepared. She did it with ease, she wasn’t forced, and she was very comfortable doing it. I hope she will follow through with all that and maybe we’ll have a national winner from here at Southside,” American Legion representative Haver said.

   The first place winner at State will receive $2,000. National winners receive $25,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place, and $15,000 for third place, as well as paid expenses. 

   “I think that is exciting because anytime that we can showcase the talents of our students, I think it’s outstanding. For her to put in the type of work and effort that she has put in since she has been here at Southside High School, and to be able to be recognized in this way is outstanding,” principal Jeff Prewitt said.