Our Programs

Shaw-May Post 38 High School The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program.Oratorical Contest


Each year The American Legion Shaw-May Post 38 provides an opportunity for Roanoke Rapids high school students’ grades 9-12 to participate and benefit educationally and financially through The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program.

Sponsored by The American Legion since 1938, this program is designed to instill in high school students a greater knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States. Other objectives include the development of leadership, the ability to think and speak clearly and the preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.  Each contestant must give a prepared 8-10 minutes oration on some phase of the United States Constitution, giving emphasis to the duties and obligations of a citizen to his/her government.  Each contestant will also provide a 3-5 minutes oration on an assigned topic to test the speaker’s ability to extemporaneously discuss the subject as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution.To date, more than $3 million in scholarships have been awarded at the national level by The American Legion to contestants in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program. The three national finalists receive $18,000, $16,000, and $14,000 respectively. In addition, contestants who win their state finals contest and represent their state at the national contests will receive no less than $1,500 in scholarship funds.  Scholarships at the national level, which total $138,000 annually, are provided by The American Legion.  Roanoke Rapids Post 38 will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals with the overall winner also earning $150 and advances to the District/Division levels of competition.

The Roanoke Rapids area local competition is held at The American Legion Post 38 building in early January of each year.  The physical address is 717 American Legion Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870.   Registration deadline for contestants is in December.  Additional details regarding The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program can be found at https://nclegion.org/oratorical-contest/ or by contacting Post 38 directly. America’s future rests on the success of today’s youth.  A knowledge of the U.S. Constitution will help prepare today’s students to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s world.


American Legion Student Trooper Program TUDENT TROOPER PROGRAM


The purpose of the North Carolina American Legion Student Trooper Program is to create an association between our young people and the men and women who are responsible for enforcing the laws of our State. The American Legion believes that our young people have a strong sense of patriotism and a high regard for Law and Order. It is our belief that the young men and women who participate in the Student Trooper Program will develop favorable attitudes toward Law Enforcement and will articulate those attitudes throughout their communities and among their peers.


The American Legion Student Trooper Program will be conducted at the North Carolina Highway Patrol Training Center, Raleigh, and is a cooperative sponsorship of The NC American Legion and The NC Highway Patrol. Cadets will participate in a wide variety of instructional sessions. They will learn the use of police skills, including drug detection, firearms safety, and precision driving, just to name a few. Instructors from the NC Highway Patrol and other phases of Law Enforcement and related subjects will be integrated into the week’s program.


Each applicant must be sponsored by an American Legion Post.  Qualified applicants will be selected on a first come basis. The sponsoring Post will assume the responsibility for the student’s attendance, including submitting a properly completed application and physical form, transportation to and from the Training Center and tuition fees. Tuition fee and total cost for the week’s program is $200.00, and is the responsibility of Post 38. However, the sponsoring Post must assure that the tuition fee accompanies application and medical form when mailed to American Legion State Headquarters by the deadline date. Applicants who have successfully completed their junior and/or senior year of high school will be considered. Applicant must be of good moral character, demonstrate qualities of Americanism and leadership and present a neat appearance.  For more information follow the link https://nclegion.org/student-trooper/ or contact Shaw-May Post 38 directly.

Tar Heels Boy’s State program


Shaw-May Post 38 is proud to sponsor one delegate to the Tar Heels Boy’s State program at Catawba College.  Detailed information can be found at the following link https://nclegion.org/boys-state/.   The delegate fee will be $400.00 and is sponsored by Post 38.

Tar Heel Boys’ State is sponsored by The American Legion Department of North Carolina. It is an intense workshop concentrating on North Carolina state government and politics. Some 500 rising high school seniors representing all geographic areas of North Carolina participate annually in this program. Since 2003 the sessions have been held on the campus of Catawba College, Salisbury, NC.

The American Legion believes there is no better way to assure the survival of our great republic than to train our young people in the ideals and objectives of American government. By teaching the youth of our state and nation to understand and appreciate the basic principles involved in the successful management of a democratic society, we can keep America strong and ensure freedom for future generations. Tar Heel Boys’ State teaches the preservation of our form of government that depends on intelligent, informed and loyal citizens in combination with government activities.

​Objectives of the program are:

  • To improve citizenship for present and future generations of Tar Heels
  • To become familiar with the structure of North Carolina government and it’s political process using the LEARN TODAY TO LEAD TOMORROW concept of instruction
  • To develop civic leadership and pride in American citizenship
  • To arouse a keen interest in the detailed study of our government
  • To develop in the young citizens of Boys’ State the full understanding of our American traditions and beliefs in the United States of America
  • To arouse in the young citizens a determination to maintain our form of government
  • To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation
  • To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy

These objectives are reached through the two-fold process of classroom lectures and role-playing.

Upon arrival at Boys State the delegates are assigned to one of 2 imaginary political parties, the “Federalists” or the “Nationalists”. Membership in these parties forms the core of the educational experience.

Classroom instruction is provided on subjects such as law, civil service and election procedure. Other special “schools” are held prior to elections to inform candidates of the duties of the office they seek and after election to cover how the elected officers and appointees can carry out their duties. All citizens of Boys State receive instruction in Parliamentary Procedure.

As members of these political parties the “citizens” of Boys State hold party caucuses and conventions, develop party platforms, hold voter registration drives, nominate candidates, hold election campaigns for local and state offices and hold actual elections for those offices. After election, the elected officers, appointees and citizen staff members actually perform some of the functions of their office. Operation of courts and the development and passage of legislation are learning activities that serve as major educational components of the program.

Members of the state legislature, with the help of their “staffs” develop and introduce bills into congress. Once introduced, these bills are debated and voted upon.

Two of the young men are selected as national Senators and later are sent to Washington, DC where they participate in the national American Legion program, Boys Nation.

​Applications and medical forms can be obtained by writing, calling or e-mailing Shaw-May Post 38.


Noah Joyner, Jr. High School Scholarship Awardhe Noah Joyner, Jr. High School Scholarship Award

The Noah Joyner, Jr. High School Scholarship Award is sponsored by The American Legion Shaw-May Post 38 and provides a non-renewable financial education award in the amount of $1,000 to a high school senior in the Roanoke Rapids, NC area.  This scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to one high school senior who has exemplified excellence in their school work and community service.  The American Legion Post 38 Scholarship Committee selects the recipient using the following guidelines:

Guidelines for applicants

One scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded for the academic year.

to be considered for the scholarship, applicants must have a minimum cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0, or the equivalent average under the school’s grading system, and be enrolled in an accredited North Carolina high school. The scholarship committee will consider factors including scholastic achievement, participation in extracurricular and civic activities, involvement in the community, personal recommendations, and family military history.

Applicants must complete and sign the scholarship application and provide a sealed high school transcript, SAT and/or ACT scores and two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from a teacher or school official, and one should be from an unrelated person in the community. Letters are to be submitted with the application, in sealed envelopes with the writer’s signatures across the seal.

Applicants must consent to an investigation of their academic records by the scholarship committee, and agree to be interviewed by the committee if required.

Recipients will be informed of their award on or about May 30, each annual year.   Award announcements may be sent to local news and published in social media and The American Legion magazine.

Scholarship awards may be used only for tuition, fees, room, board and/or books charged by the university, college, community college or trade school in which recipient is enrolled. The scholarship payment will be made directly to the school for the recipient’s account.

The scholarship is not renewable.

If a recipient fails to enroll in the coming academic year, or drops out of school, the recipient will be obligated to repay the The American Legion Post 38 for any amount of the scholarship not refunded by the institution.


Junior ROTC Awards for Military Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program cellence and Scholastic Achievement

The American Legion Shaw-May Post 38 is a strong supporter of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District. Shaw-May Post 38 presents Military and Scholastic Excellence medals and certificates to the top Army JROTC students at Roanoke Rapids High School.  The recipients of the Awards are selected by the JROTC Instructors and presented by a Post 38 Official at the Fall Awards Banquet.

Additionally, Shaw-May Post 38 demonstrates their support to the Yellow Jacket Battalion by hosting their Spring Military Ball at the Post facilities and providing $700 in equipment for their drill team start up.


New in 2023, Legionnaire Walt Fightmaster, initiated a new training program to bring awareness to Veteran suicide in cooperation with the Veterans Administration.

S.A.V.E. training informs the desired actions when encountering a Veteran in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts. Walt Fightmaster is the Shaw-May Post 38 S.A.V.E. Committee Chairman and has plans to coordinate another training session hosted by Post 38. Remember: S. – SIGNS, A. – Ask, V.- Validate, E – Encourage and Expedite getting treatment and help.


Happy New Year 2024