VFW posts offer scholarships for essay contests
From Staff Reports September 8, 2012 11:02PM
Veterans of Foreign Wars march in a procession as part of a Flag Retirement and Veteran’s Day Ceremony. The VFW is offering scholarship funds to students in an essay contest. | File photo
Updated: October 11, 2012 6:08AM
Commanders of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts across Illinois have announced the kick-off of this year’s VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition and the “Patriot’s Pen Essay Competition.”
Voice of Democracy
This is the 66th year of the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition.
Local high school students have the opportunity to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C.
Students begin by competing at the local Post level with a deadline of Nov. 1. Post winners advance to District and then the first place District winner advances to the state competition. All state winners receive a four-day trip to Washington, D.C. A total of $152,000 is awarded to national finalists. First place is a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school.
Annually the VFW provides more than $2.3 million in scholarships. Each year, around 50,000 students participate in the competition.
Students must write and record a three-to-five minute essay on this theme for 2012-2013, “Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?” on an audio cassette tape or audio CD and present their recording, typed essay, and entry form at their local VFW Post.
The VFW’s Voice of Democracy Scholarship Contest is an annual nationwide audio essay competition designed to give 9th-12th grade high school students, ages 15–19, the opportunity to voice their opinion on their responsibility to our country. Home-schooled students are also invited to participate.
Students in grades 9-12 enter at the local level through their local posts. Post winners are advanced to District judging. Each District winner advances to the annual Voice of Democracy state competition held in Springfield.
Begun by the National Association of Broadcasters in the late 1940’s, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States became involved in the late 1950’s. The VFW took over primary sponsorship in 1961 when the National Association of Broadcasters could no longer sponsor the program nationally. Then in 1964, the Ladies Auxiliary joined the VFW in sponsorship of the program.
Because of the active program promotion and participation, the national scholarship funds have steadily increased from four national winners in 1962, with total scholarships of $3,750, to our current level of sixty-three national scholarships totaling $152,000. This Youth Program has truly become the premier program of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary.
For more information about the Voice of Democracy competition, contact the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in your area. If you are unsure of the post in your area, please contact Illinois VFW Headquarters in Springfield at (217) 529-6688.
Commanders of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts across Illinois have announced the kick-off of this year’s VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary “Patriot’s Pen Essay Competition” and the middle school students in grades 6-8 in this area have the opportunity to compete in the VFW’s annual essay competition and win thousands of dollars.
Students begin by competing at the local Post level. Post winners advance to District. District winners compete in the state competition.
The state winners compete for $46,000 in awards, and the first place winner wins $5,000. Each year, some 126,000 students participate nationwide.
Students are invited to write a 300-400-word essay on a patriotic theme. The theme for 2012-2013 (which is the 18th year of the contest) is: “What I Would Tell America’s Founding Fathers.”
Deadline for student entries is Nov. 1, and interested students and teachers should contact their local VFW Post for more information.
For more information, visit www.vfw.org/Community/Patriot-s-Pen