Oratorical   contest   winner   Ranina   Searles,   center,   with   Parents,   Post   Chairman   Gwendolyn   Austin,   County Commander   Paul   Zimarowski   and   Department   Executive   Committeeman   Philip   Wien.Renina   won   Post, County   and   second   at   District   for   2011.   For   2012,   Renia   has   won   Post,   County   and   will   compete   at   District in   February   2012.   The   American   Legion   Oratorical   Contest   exists   to   develop   deeper   knowledge   and appreciation   for   the   U.S.   Constitution   among   high   school   students.   Since   1938,   the   program   has   presented participants   with   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. The    program    has    featured    numerous    politicians    and prominent   contestants   over   the   years,   including   former president   candidate   Alan   Keyes   and   CNN   anchor   Lou Dobbs .    Post    sponsored    Oratorical    Contestant    Raina Searles    of    Rancocas    Valley    High    School    won    the Department   (State)   level   Oratorial   Contest   at   the   War Memorial   Building   on   March   31,   2012.   Congratulation goes   out   to   Raina   and   her   parents.   She   will   be   picking up    a    $4,000.00    Scholarship    from    the    Department    of New   Jersey.   Raina   will   now   move   on   to   the   National   Finals   in   Indianapolis,   Indiana   from   April   13th   to   15th,   2012. We   all   are   pulling   for   Raina   to   take   National.   Another   purpose   of   the   program   is   to   assist   students   in   paying   the high cost of a college education. The first place winner takes home $18,000. The   Oratorical   contest   was   developed   primarily   to   instill   a   better   knowledge   and   appreciation   of   the   Constitution of   the   United   States   in   high   school   students.   Other   objectives   include   the   development   of   leadership   qualities,   the   ability   to   think   and   speak   clearly,   and   the preparation   for   acceptance   of   the   duties,   responsibilities,   rights   and   privileges   of   American   citizenship.   Another   purpose   of   the   program   is   to   assist   students   in paying the high cost of a college education. The   first   place   winner   takes   home   $18,000   and   the   next   two   finishers   receive   $16,000   and   $14,000.   First   round   participants   in   the   National   Contest   receive   a   $1,500 scholarship.   Second   round   participants   who   do   not   advance   to   the   final   round   will   receive   an   additional   $1,500   scholarship   The   New   Jersey   Contest   will   award   a $4,000   scholarship   for   the   first   place   winner,   $2,500   for   second   place,   $2,000   for   third   place   and   $1,000   each   for   forth   and   fifth   place.   The   New   Jersey   winner   will advance   to   the   National   Finals   Contests,   a   weekend’s   competition   of   Quarter-final,   Semi-   final   and   National   final   contests   that   are   held   in   the   headquarters   city   of The American Legion, Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2013 Contests will be held April 19-21, 2013,    University   Place   Conference   Center   and   Hotel,   Fort   McHenry   is   located   near   Baltimore's   Inner   Harbor   area.   The   fort's   history   dates   to   the   Revolutionary   War   in 1776   when   Baltimore   residents   feared   a   British   attack,   so   a   fort   was   made   at   the   site   from   mounds   of   dirt.   Baltimore   was   spared   from   an   attack   during   the Revolutionary   War,   prompting   the   military   to   construct   a   sturdier   Fort   McHenry.   It   was   named   for   James   McHenry,   a   politician   who   secured   most   of   the   funds   for   the project.   Fort   McHenry   gained   its   place   in   history   during   the   War   of   1812   when   the   British   mounted   an   attack   on   Baltimore.   British   forces   bombarded   Fort   McHenry for   25   hours   and   eventually   gave   up   when   they   could   not   destroy   the   fort.   Francis   Scott   Key   saw   the   events   unfold   and   noticed   the   fort's   American   flag   was   still flying   despite   the   attack.   He   commemorated   the   Battle   of   Fort   McHenry   with   a   poem   that   was   later   set   to   music   and   called   "The   Star   Spangled   Banner."   There   is   a monument   to   Francis   Scott   Key   and   "The   Star   Spangled   Banner"   at   Fort   McHenry   today.   The   fort   is   a   popular   destination   for   field   trips   by   Baltimore   area schoolchildren.   In   addition   to   being   open   to   the   public   for   tours,   a   group   of   re-enactors   known   as   the   Fort   McHenry   Guard   dress   in   period   garb   and   help   interpret Fort   McHenry's   past   and   place   in   history.   The   Fort   McHenry   tunnel,   a   major   infrastructure   project   that   carries   Interstate   95   under   the   Patapsco   River,   passes   just south of Fort McHenry.
Eligible participants in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program shall be citizens of or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
All   contestants   must   be   bona   fide   students   herein   described   as   any   student   under   the   age   of   twenty   (20)   years   on   the   date   of   the   national   contest   who   is presently   enrolled   in   a   high   school   or   junior   high   school   (public,   parochial,   military,   private   or   home   school)   in   which   the   curriculum   of   said   school   is   considered to   be   of   high   school   level,   commencing   with   grade   nine   (9)   and   terminating   with   grade   twelve   (12).   Students   must   be   enrolled   in   high   school   or   junior   high   school during the time of participation at any level of The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program
Ranina Searles  contest winner 2012 ,
Oratorical contest winner 2013
Ranina Searles a senior at Rancocas Valley Regional High School won the Oratorical contest  at County, District  and placed second in the State competition.
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