Student gets national speech award - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Student gets national speech award

April 27, 2004

Albany - America is coming up on another presidential election. We learned last time around that every vote counts. An Albany man is trying to get new voters to cast a ballot this November.

Philip Bishop tells an audience, "Wake up America, this is a presidential election year, however, in the land where there is the opportunity to do anything, there is the freedom to do nothing."

Bishop has a way with words. He says to the audience, "Voting is not just a privilege, it's a responsibility. "

A privilege he just got. Bishop is only 18-years-old.  He adds, "Voting really is a big deal and what democracy is centered around."

A speech geared toward future voters and fellow classmates at Deerfield Windsor High School in Albany.

Words that are meant to wake up, stand up and speak up America. And it did. His speech about the constitution landed national attention and a standing ovation in his hometown. A student, Elizabeth Johnson, says, "He pointed out at how inactive we are in politics and we take for granted what our constitution gives to us. It reminded me I need to go register."

Bishop is the 2004 American Legion National Oratorical Contest Champion. Johnson adds, "He put in the time and effort cause I saw him after school practicing with his dad, he definitely deserves it."

His speech is good to go, but Bishop is still undecided about college. A decision that may lead the senior toward a career in mass communications, meanwhile, his speech may lead classmates to a voting booth.

Bishop is the second Georgian to get the national speech award. The award not only gave him recognition, but an $18,000 scholarship.

posted at 4:50PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com