Meet Oratorical State Champion Aya Kasim

Senior Represents Texas at National Competition


Gabriel Donaghy, Staff Writer

Patriotism is a key part of every country, nationalism… well, sometimes that can be too much, but a good sense of patriotism is healthy for a country to have, and sometimes we as a people, especially here in America, need to be reminded of that. That is where the American Legion Oratorical Competition comes in, judged by veterans, in which the contestants remind people of what makes America great with speeches based on American stories and ideals. This idea has been around for a while, with a similar concept to the American Legion Oratorical Competition appearing in The Simpsons. But today, one of our fellow students has made it all the way to Nationals to compete with the best of the best because they are Texas’ best, Aya Kasim.


The Simpsons" Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington (TV Episode 1991) - IMDb

Q&A with Aya

What would you say the American Legion Oratorical Competition is about?

The American Legion Oratorical contest is a competition dedicated to teaching the youth about the Constitution and history. It supports high school student achieve their higher education goals by gifting scholarships to contest winners


Have you noticed any changes in your opponents as you’ve gone from school, to regional, and now to state?

The higher I went in competition, the harder it was to win. Competitors were more prepared and passionate about what they had to say


What is your favorite speech you have done? 

I love my 10 minute prepared oration, but my favorite to perform are my Assigned topic speeches about the 3rd, 8th, 14th, and 25th Amendment.


What motivates you to speak about these topics?

I first decided to do this competition for the scholarship opportunity, but it quickly became for the people I got to meet through the contest. I have interacted with many sweet, inspiring veterans. After doing the competition for three years now, I have gotten very close with several. They know me by name and even attended the State competition to watch me perform despite having heard the speech so many times before.


How are you feeling about going to nationals?

I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity. I am putting no pressure on myself since I have achieved what I wanted to since senior year–becoming State Champion. What I’m really looking forward to is spending time with Dr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, and Sierra Christa.