Voice of Democracy 2015-16 “My Vision for America”
1st Place – $100 2nd Place – $50 3rd Place – $25
State level prizes range from $400 – $1,200
National level prizes range from $1,000 – $30,000
Each year, more than 45,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.
Knowing that a democratic society needs nurturing, the VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.
Students should record their reading of the draft to a CD. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes (plus or minus five seconds).
The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Patriot’s Pen 2015-16 Theme “What Freedom Means to Me”
1st Place – $75 2nd Place – $40 3rd Place – $20
State level prizes range from $50 – $700
National level prizes range from $500 – $5,000
VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. That’s why we encourage youthful minds to examine our nation’s history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest.
Annually, roughly 126,000 students from grades 6-8 (nationwide) enter. One first-place winner from each state competes to win one of 46 national awards totaling $46,000. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.
Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an — always patriotic — annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.
Youth Essay * 2015-16 Theme “Why is America my favorite Country”
1st Place – $50 2nd Place – $25 3rd Place – $15
State level prizes range from $50 – $100
*This is a State of Washington program only not National (yet)
This essay contest is for grades 3 thru 5. This is exclusively awarded by the VFW Department of Washington. Judging is done at the Local Post, District and State levels. The state winner will receive a Savings Bond. Youth Essay Entry Form