Voice of Democracy
Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, What Makes America Great.
Prizes and scholarships can be awarded at the Post, District, state and national level. Department (State) winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., Feb 29 – March 4, 2020, to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and its Auxiliary and receive their portion of $154,000 in national awards, the top scholarship being $30,000.
The Voice of Democracy is open to students in grades 9-12 by the Oct. 31 deadline, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or in an overseas U.S. military/civilian dependent school.
Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. We invite you to join the more than 120,000 students who participated last year in this contest. The national winners will receive at least $500. The first-place national award is currently $5,000 plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the winner and a parent or guardian.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has again approved this contest for its National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.
Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students enrolled by the Oct. 31 deadline in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Home-schooled students also are eligible.