Palmyra student finishes third at 90th annual American Legion oratorical scholarship contest

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Pictured are zone commander Mr. Miller, Ashley Bode and Ashley's mother Mrs. Bode. | Photo courtesy of American Legion Post 55

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Ashley Bode of Palmyra finished in third place with her speech titled “The Constitution of the United States” during regional competition for the 90th annual American Legion high school oratorical scholarship program contest held Jan. 21 at Legion Post 55.

Second place was awarded to Jillian Schmidt of Russellville for her speech “The Greatest Attributes of our Democracy.” The overall winner was Jona Rawashden of St. Peters with “A Healthy Body of Politics.”

Rawashden will advance to a Missouri zone challenge at Ashland on Feb. 25. to face the winners of the other zones. The overall national contest winner earns a $25,000 scholarship, with second place receiving $22,500, and third place awarded $20,000.

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 the nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly and an understanding of the duties.

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