Paul Loftness, a homeschooled student from Conway, won second place Saturday in the 2013 Arkansas Oratorical Competition, according to a news release.
Loftness, 18, competed with six other students to place second and win a $1,500 check from the American Legion. The American Legion Department of Arkansas hosted the event.
Loftness is the son of Diane Loftness of Conway.
The Legion has sponsored the National High School Oratorical Contest for more than 70 years, according to the release. The contest is meant to develop a better knowledge and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution among high school students. The contest is also for the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship, according to the release.
For 2013, the Department Contest finalist received $2,000 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for the third place.
The first place winner will represent Arkansas at the National level with an all-expense-paid trip with chaperone to Indianapolis, Ind., where the winner will be guaranteed an additional $1,500 scholarship and have an opportunity to receive up to an additional $18,000. As a second place winner, Loftness will serve as an alternate, said Anita Cotton, assistant to Roger Lacy, Oratorical chairman.
Last year, Loftness also competed in the contest and was a finalist.
For more information on the contest, please visit www.legion.org/oratorical.