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Del Val student wins VFW speech prize


A speech written by Abigail Schaefer, a Delaware Valley High School junior from Holland Township, N.J., has won first place in both the local and Hunterdon County Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Voice of Democracy competitions. She won $300 from the Milford-Frenchtown VFW.

Ryan Stephens of Alexandria Township, N.J., came in second and won $200, and Jessica Scheier of Kingwood Township, N.J., took third for $100.They are both juniors.

This year’s topic was “What Makes America Great?” Each submission consisted of a recorded speech, along with the text of that speech.

Checks and certificates were presented Dec. 6 at Del Val High School by Milford VFW Commander Sonny Silva with VFW member Ron Rounsaville. Coordinating the student efforts with the VFW was Jim Kluska, supervisor of the Del Val Social Studies and World Languages Department, and former Army officer.

Schaefer’s winning speech concludes with: “Like every other country in the world, America has its share of flaws and certain changes need to be made to benefit the people. However, many people can be considered lucky for living in America because not only do American citizens reap the benefits of freedom and independence, but we also are able to live in a country where you can become whoever and whatever you desire. In the end, it is not historical documents or voting ballots that make America great, but it is how we, as American citizens, use the freedoms we are given to reflect upon the flaws in society and advocate for change.”