By CBS Baltimore Staff

WJZ’s 2022 Black History Oratory Competition is underway.

The annual competition invites Maryland students in grades 9 through 12 to write an original essay of 500 words based on a prompt provided to them.

The entry period runs from Jan. 1 through Jan. 25, 2022.

ENTER: Click here to download the competition application form

This year, participants are asked to choose one quote from the three listed below and explain in detail what it means to them:

  • “Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.” — Maya Angelou
  • “The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but in doing too little. Not in living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that’s life’s greatest tragedy.” — Benjamin E. Mays
  • “Have a vision. Be demanding.” — Colin Powell

All entries must be received by Jan. 25, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

Then 20 semi-finalists will be invited to record themselves reading their original speech on video, which will be submitted to WJZ.

RELATED: Meet the winners of last year’s oratory competition

Here are the prizes the winning students will receive:

  • First place: $700 from WJZ, $2,000 scholarship gift card from Toyota Financial Services;
  • Second place: $400 from WJZ, $1,000 scholarship gift card from Toyota Financial Services;
  • Third place: $200 from WJZ, $500 scholarship gift card from Toyota Financial Services.

RULES: Click here to download a copy of the competition’s rules

Got questions? Email oratory@wjz.com.

CBS Baltimore Staff