Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.
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.
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 a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
WHO CAN ENTER
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
HOW TO ENTER
Go to www.vfw.org/Community/Voice-of-Democracy to access the Voice of Democracy 2015-16 entry form and brochure.
The 2015-16 theme is: My Vision for America
Students should record their reading of the draft to an audio CD or flash drive. The recording can be no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes (plus or minus 5 seconds).
Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to an audio CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version, CD/flash drive and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the Nov. 1 deadline.
- Originality is worth 30 points: Treatment of the theme should show imagination and human interest.
- Content is worth 35 points: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the other.
- Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner.
Read the previous winning essay from 2014. For more information, see www.vfw.org/Community/Voice-of-Democracy.