By Thomas Tang ‘15
Giovahni Verdieu ’14 was the only student from Midwood who competed in the American Legion Oratorical Contest that was held in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Elmot Long Island.
The ALOC offers students scholarship money for competing in speech contests that revolve around the American constitution. The main goal of the organization is to have students explore the U.S. Constitution and gain knowledge and deeper appreciation for it.
“It feels great to represent Midwood because I’ve been coming here for 4 years, and I’m accomplishing something that can make me and my school proud,” said Giovahni ’14.
Giovahni’s speech was about the evolution of voting rights as he went head to head with the brightest students New York has to offer. The contest was divided in 3 rounds and Mr. Douglas O’Connor helped him prepare his speeches.
“The ALOC is a great way for students to learn more about the U.S. Constitution,” Mr. O’Connor said. The quality of the contest was excellent and exciting.”
Giovahni highly respects Mr. O’Connor and was in the contest because Mr. O’Connor believed he could do it and pushed him to compete. Giovahni had to compete against high school students from private schools in New York.
The ALOC is extremely competitive because students are fighting for first place, and scholarship money that can be used in any college and university in the United States. Speaking subjects must involve the U.S. Constitution and last 8-10 minutes long. Students must also give a 3-5 minute long speech on assigned topics that are also apart of the contest according to http://www.legion.org/oratorical/about.
Giovahni spoke on voting rights starting from the white male landowner who could only vote to the modern day U.S. where anyone over the legal age of 18 and is a citizen of American can vote.
The contest was divided into 3 rounds and Giovahni was ready for all 3. He placed second in the first round and was getting ready for the next 2 rounds.
“I’m excited about the contest, but at the same time I have to get ready for the next round because the competition is fierce,” said Giovahni ’14.
Giovahni was prepared for round 2 and placed first. Giovahni was happy about the first place finish and was grateful for Mr. O’Connor’s help.
The third round ended with Giovahni finishing in 3rd place, but Giovahni was not sad about it because he was grateful that he was in the contest and got to compete against other intelligent students.
Giovahni didn’t leave the contest empty handed and he earned $1,000 worth of scholarship money that can be used in any college and university in America. Giovahni has thought about competing in another contest.
“I competed against some of the smartest students in New York and got 1st place and accomplished something that not many students from others schools have accomplished,” said Giovahni ’14. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.”