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Indy teenager receives a $25,000 grant for a speech competition



Indianapolis, Indiana – In the “A Constitutional Speech Contest,” held as part of The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, a home-educated senior from Indianapolis took first place and a $25,000 college scholarship, according to a news release from the group.

Haley Bock, the winner, won with a speech titled, “The Black Hole of American Democracy: American Territories are Where Voting Rights Vanish.”

Bock spoke about Luis Segovia, a U.S. citizen and Guam resident who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard. “Luis Segovia was willing to give his life for his country,” she said. “He protected Iraqi citizens’ right to vote. But back home in America, Luis, along with four million residents of the American territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands were denied their right to vote.”

“They’re calling out but they’ve yet to be heard,” she concluded. “So, who will give them their voice? When will we all speak out, rise together, and grant those the rights they too have fought for and deserve?”

With a second-place finish, senior from New York Ian Chung also took home a scholarship worth $22,500. Emma Johnson, a Wyoming high school girl, finished in third place. A scholarship worth $20,000 was given to her.

The American Legion created the competition to inspire youngsters to enhance their communication skills.

Over the course of the competition, scholarships worth more than $3 million have been given out.