This past Sunday in Indianapolis, Suyash Uppal competed and won the prestigious 80th annual American League Oratorical Contest. The competition included 5 Judges representing media, law, government, education and industry. Yash received over $4,000 for winning and now moves on the National competition, which will be held in Indianapolis in late April. He will compete against the top 52 speakers from across the country for over $20,000 in scholarships.
The Oratorical Contest is divided into two parts. The first requires a 8 – 10 minute rehearsed speech on some part of the US Constitution relating to a citizen’s responsibility. Speakers can not have notes or prompts, use a microphone, or follow a clock. Yash and his sponsor, Mr. Rick Condon, selected the Electoral College for this portion of the competition. They spent many hours writing, revising, practicing. Yash gave an excellent presentation.
The second part is a 3-5 minute speech on one of four Constitutional topics, which is randomly selected on the day of the competition. Speakers knew what four they would select from, but nothing specific was given until it was drawn on Sunday. The choices were the 17th, 16th, 10th and 7th amendments. Both Yash and Mr. Condon were comfortable with all of them, but preferred the 17th to any (and hoping to not have the 7th!) Yash drew the 16th, which includes the government’s right to levy an income tax. He was prepared. Just like the first part of the competition, speakers can not use notes, clocks, prompts or aids. Due to the nature of how this part of the competition is chosen, this speech normally divides the winners from the losers.
JHS is extremely proud of Suyash on his win, and wish him luck as he continues to move on to the next phase of this competition. The National Championship will be held in Indianapolis in April. Yash will compete against the top 52 high school orators for a grand prize of $24K in scholarship.