In the community

Vale student wins state speaking competition

VALE – A Vale sophomore took first in the state at an American Legion public speaking contest in Lebanon earlier this month.

Addie Saunders, 15, won the American Legion Oregon Department Oratical Speech Contest, according to a Sunday, April 7 Facebook post from the Vale American Legion.

The post noted that Saunders’s top performance qualified her to compete at the American Legion’s national final competition in Hillsdale, Michigan, from May 17 to May 19. For taking the top prize at the state competition, Saunders earned a roughly $5,000 college scholarship.

Saunders is still deciding where she wants to attend college, but she said she would likely be looking at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg. She said she’s also still deciding on a career path.

In her speech, Saunders said she talked about the importance of teaching today’s youth about the U.S. Constitution and what it means to the everyday lives of Americans. Additionally, she spoke about how Constitutional education is amiss in the American education system.

“Our Constitution is important because it provides a strong foundation for our government,” Saunders said.

No stranger to public speaking, Saunders placed fourth in the speaking competition at the Oregon FFA convention in Redmond, held at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center.

Saunders also competed at the state American Legion speech contest and finished third.

Saunders said she would be giving the same speech at the national competition.

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