Preston teen finishes second in national VFW essay, speech competition

(ABC 6 News) – A Preston, Minn. teenager finished second nationwide at the VFW Voice of Democracy essay and speech competition in Washington D.C. last week.

Siri Corson, a junior at Fillmore Central High School in Harmony, took second place out of approximately 36,000 entrants nationwide. She also won a $21,000 scholarship.

The theme for the 2022-2023 competition was, “Why is the veteran important?”

The competition was in four level phases – local, district, state, and national. Corson won her school level, moved on and won the District 1 regional level (Southeast Minnesota – including Rochester, Winona, and Austin), moved on and won the State level, before moving on and finishing second at the national level.

In the 76 years of the Voice of Democracy essay and speech competition, Corson is the first person from Fillmore County that has moved past the district level.

Corson gave an emotional tribute in her speech to her local VFW members and to her great-grandfather who saw heavy fighting in World War II only to return to Preston where he adapted to civilian life to raise seven children.

To listen to Corson’s speech, CLICK HERE.