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Voice of Democracy 2020: What Makes America Great

The Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars premier scholarship program since 1947, 9th through 12th grade students compete for more than $2.3 million in college scholarships and awards by writing and recording a broadcast script on a patriotic theme. The 54 Department winners visit Washington, D.C. and divide a total of $146,000 in scholarships, the largest of which is $30,000.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to students in grades 9-12, who are enrolled in a public, private, parochial high school or a home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or in an overseas U.S. military/civilian dependent school. Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over and previous Voice of Democracy first place state winners are ineligible.

What do students need to enter?

Students record an original 3-5 minute (+ or - 5 seconds) essay on a standard cassette tape or CD (CD is preferred) on the patriotic theme listed below. Students must also provide a neatly typed copy of the essay along with a completed Voice of Democracy Competition entry form. All recordings must be in the student's voice, without music, special effects or background sounds. Songs and poetry are not accetable. Students may not provide anything in the essay or recording that will identify them in any way. Students may enter only one Voice of Democracy competition per year.

What is the entry deadline?

All entries must be in the hands of VFW Post 101 by midnight, November 1.



Learn More

For more information about Voice of Democracy for 9-12th graders and how to apply, visit the official VFW Website

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Patriot's Pen 2020: What Makes America Great

Patriot's Pen is a VFW sponsored youth essay competition that gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy with the prospect of winning U.S. savings bonds. Students compete at Post, District, State and National levels. The top 35 National winners all receive at least a $1,000 savings bond. The first-place award is currently a $10,000 savings bond, plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.  

Who can enter? 

The competition is open to students in grades 6-8 who are enrolled in public, private, or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Home-schooled students are also eligible. Dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools can participate too. (Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed in the National finals are excluded from the contest).  

What do students need to do to enter? 

Students submit a 300 - 400 word original essay on the theme listed below. The essay should be typewritten in English with no color or graphics and cannot be less than 300 words or greater than 400 words in length. Every word is counted regardless of length. The essay title (theme) or added footnotes do not contribute to the word count. In no way may contestants identify themselves in their essay nor should their names be written on the front of the essay. Essays must be written exclusively for this competition and must be the contestant's original work and a product of the contestant's own thinking. The approach to the theme should be positive and clearly focused. Poetry is not acceptable. Quotations may be used sparingly if plainly identified wherever used. Parents, teachers or counselors may check the essay for punctuation, grammar, and/or spelling, but the content must remain the contestant's.  

What is the entry deadline? 

All entries must be in the hands of VFW Post 101 by midnight, November 1.

Learn More

 For more information about Patriot's Pen for 6-8th graders and how to apply, visit the official VFW Website 

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Scout of the Year

Annually the Veterans of Foreign Wars recognizes Eagle Scouts, Venture Silver Award recipients or Sea Scout Quartermasters who have risen above their peers in exemplifying the exceptional qualities of that rank with a $5,000 scholarship. Candidates must be exceptional in all six of the critical elements of healthy youth development as defined by The Louis Harris & Associates, Inc.  

Who can enter? 

Scouts who are registered, active members of a Boy Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or a Sea Scout Ship who have received the Eagle Scout Award, Venture Silver Award, or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.  Scouts must be 15 years of age and have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting, and the community.  Scouts must be enrolled in high school at the time of selection (applicants still in high school who reach their 18th birthday during the nomination year remain eligible if otherwise qualified).  

How the contest works 

Local VFW Posts select one winner from the entries received. Posts then submit their local winner to their respective VFW Department (state) by April 1. From there, the Department selects a winner and forwards the entry to the VFW National Headquarters by May 1 for national-level judging. Colorado department winners are recognized at the State VFW Convention held in June.  

How to enter 

Scouts submit the completed VFW Scouting Scholarship from below, resume of high school activities, scouting record, community service record, and letters of recommendation to Colorado Springs VFW Post 101 no later than March 1. 

Learn More

 For more information about the Scout of the Year program and how to apply, visit the official VFW Website