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INDIANAPOLIS (April 14, 2002, Noon, EST) - An Albert P. Brewer High School senior capped a busy weekend of competition in Indianapolis by earning an $ 18,000 college scholarship with a speech entitled: "The Constitution: A Fantastic Journey."Candice April Neal of Eva started the weekend as one of 53 state champions in the 65th annual American Legion National High School Oratorical Championship and advanced to the top through three rounds of intense competition. Jacquelyn Evans of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, Calif. earned a $ 16,000 scholarship while Scott Chaloff of Milton Academy in Chestnut Hill, Mass. finished in third-place earning a $ 14,000 college scholarship. The scholarships account for a small portion of the roughly $ 3.5 million in post-secondary scholarships that The American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, awards annually. In her speech Neal talked about the basic knowledge and understanding of the constitution, an appeal to engage in our onstitutional rights responsibly and a call to participate in our government. "We can begin participating in small ways such as reading a daily newspaper or a weekly news magazine," Neal said."What we will begin to notice is that it will become a habit, and we willstart participating in bigger ways such as writing letters to publicofficials, investigating the qualifications of political candidates,exercising our right to vote, and attending meetings where important local,regional, and national issues are being discussed and deliberated." The American Legion provided lodging, hotel accommodations andtransportation for all 53 contestants and their chaperones attending theweekend-long competition here at the University Place Conference Center andHotel. The site is on the campus of Indiana University - Purdue UniversityIndianapolis.In each round of the weekend competition, orators delivered a rehearsed 8-to 10-minute address and a randomly assigned 3- to 5-minute oration on aconstitutional topic, each without the benefit of notes and in front of alive audience, including the judges. The 2.8-million member American Legiondeveloped the contest to encourage young people to improve theircommunications skills and to study the U.S. Constitution.