Park Forest, Schools

Malik J. Fountain, Southland College Prep Sophomore, Places First in VFW Competition

Malik Fountain, Bill Browne
Bill Browne, Commander, Benjamin O. Davis VFW Post 311, congratulates Malik Fountain, Southland College Prep sophomore, on advancing to the Voice of Democracy Illinois State competition. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Richton Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A sophomore at Southland College Prep Charter High School, Malik J. Fountain, only 15-years-old, was awarded first place in the Veterans of Foreign Wars 16th District’s annual Voice of Democracy competition.

Earlier, he won the Benjamin O. Davis VFW Post 311 and Auxiliary’s competition, according to a release from the school. Bill Browne, Post Commander, said Mr. Fountain is the first winner from Post 311 in Richton Park to advance to the VFW Voice of Democracy state competition. That competition will be held in Springfield in early February. State winners advance to a national competition and a shot at a $30,000 college scholarship.

“We are ecstatic that we have this young man representing our post,” Browne said. “We look forward to him representing our post as well as the district.”

A resident of Olympia Fields, Illinois, Fountain was one of seven finalists from posts across the south suburbs to submit a written essay and audio version in the Veterans of Foreign Wars 16th District competition on the theme of this year’s Voice of Democracy, “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” Contestants are judged on originality in addressing the central theme in an imaginative treatment; content and the ability to fully develop the theme and transition from one idea to another; and delivery in the audio version of the essay.

Mr. Fountain holds a black belt in taekwondo and is an honor roll student at the school. He is in the process of being inducted into the public charter high school’s National Honor Society, the school reports.

A member of the National Society of Black Engineers Jr. this past summer, Fountain was selected to participate in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Discover Engineering Camp at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mr. Fountain also plays alto saxophone. He participated for the second year in the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Jazz Academy. In August, he performed in Chicago’s Millennium Park with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Youth Ensemble. Fountain and two of his friends have formed a musical group and entertain at local nursing homes in honor of his late grandmother, Gwendolyn Clincy, the release from the school says.

Mr. Fountain is a member of Southland College Prep’s concert and marching bands, track and cross-country teams, the same sports and activities he participated in during eighth grade at the Illinois School, Park Forest, the school reports.