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Desi Whalen will represent American Legion Post 163 in the state American Legion Oratorical Contest

Desi Whalen has been selected to represent American Legion Post 163 in the finals of the Washington State American Legion Oratorical Contest.   - Contributed photos
Desi Whalen has been selected to represent American Legion Post 163 in the finals of the Washington State American Legion Oratorical Contest.
— image credit: Contributed photos

Desi Whalen has been selected to represent American Legion Post 163 in the finals of the Washington State American Legion Oratorical Contest.

Desi, the daughter of Carol Whalen and Ron Whalen of Friday Harbor is a junior at Friday Harbor High School.

Sponsored by the national American Legion, high school students who compete in the oratorical contest must prepare and present an eight- to 10-minute speech on some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. Scholarships are awarded to the winners at the state and national level.

In order to qualify for the scholarships, Desi will also have to speak extemporaneously for five minutes on one of four assigned topics. Those topics are: Article 4, Section 3, Paragraph 1; Article 5, the proposal of amendments; Amendment 5, which addresses trial by jury and protection from double jeopardy; and Amendment 6, the right to speedy trial. The assigned topic will be decided by drawing.

The Oratorical Contest began with the preliminary contest on Jan. 23 at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake. Desi was chosen as one of four finalists to compete in Pasco on Feb. 6. Scholarships totaling $5,000 will be awarded to students participating in the State Oratorical competition. The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Indianapolis, Ind., to compete in the national contest and a part of the $138,000 national scholarship pool.

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