Winthrop resident Jake Letterie is heading to Indianapolis for the national finals of the American Legion Oratorical Contest.
Letterie, a 16-year-old junior at the prestigious Rivers School in Weston, finished first in the state-level competition held Sunday at the Charlestown Naval Yard. He will represent Massachusetts in the national competition and compete against 50 state winners, and students from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, and Mexico for the top prize of an $18,000 scholarship. There are scholarship prizes for the second-and-third-place finishers as well.
Jake delivered 10-minute speech about the United States Constitution, emphasizing the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. He followed that up with a five-minute presentation about one of the Constitutional amendments.
The honor roll student impress
ed the judges with the content of his speech, his confident delivery, and his ability to convey clearly his understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizens.
The prestigious national oration program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and news anchor Lou Dobbs.
Jake is the son of Town Councilor James Letterie and Winthrop schoolteacher Dawn Letterie, who received the Educational Excellence Award at the Chamber of Commerce Awards Night. He has a sister, Jenna, who is a freshman at Rivers.
James Letterie said his son is looking forward to traveling to Indiana for the national finals.
“It’s a great competition,” said Letterie. “He worked very hard and spent many hours writing and practicing his oration and the hard work paid off. Dawn and I are very proud of him.”
Jake is in select company locally as well with his splendid oratorical skills. Winthrop Town Manager Jim McKenna was a two-time state champion in high school in the American Legion Oratorical Contest.