Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 25,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins at least a scholarship of $1,000. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements, Applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31. Download and complete the 2022-2023 Voice of Democracy entry form here.
The 2022-23 theme is:
"Why is the Veteran Important?"
About the 2021-2022 winner ...
Daniela Mare, a junior at Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, was named the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Daniela's speech on the theme, "America: Where Do We Go from Here?" won her a $30,000 college scholarship. Daniela VFW Post 9486 and its Auxiliary in Centereach, New York. Watch as Daniela delivered her speech during the VFW's virtual Parade of Winners award ceremony.
Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the full virtual Parade of Winners ceremony which was streamed live on Facebook, or see this year's complete list of winners.
Send your entry to:
VFW Post 10483, PO Box 9479, Hot Springs Village, AR 71910
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed the VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen programs on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2020-21. We thank all of America's teachers and youth leaders for the time, effort and commitment they invest in our young people each year. We have a number of ways in which to assist you in helping to ensure your students get a head start on their future.
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