VFW Kicks Off Annual Youth Scholarship Competitions

More than $3 million in scholarships and awards are presented each year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting entries for its 2020-21 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after the VFW’s 2020 Legislative Conference concluded in Washington, D.C., where the top national winners of both contests were recognized.

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Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today’s youth. The programs also promote friendly competition and reward success with more than $3 million in scholarships.


The Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition, with the theme “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?” is open to all students in grades 9-12. Each state winner competes for the top national $30,000 scholarship prize. More than 51,000 students competed in last year’s competition. Shruthi Kumar, sponsored by VFW Post 1581 in Omaha, Nebraska, was the 2020 national Voice of Democracy winner. Listen to her deliver her award-winning essay.


Students in grades 6-8 can complete in the Patriot’s Pen competition by answering this year’s theme, “What is Patriotism to Me?” Entrants vie for the top award of $5,000. Ruby Howe, sponsored by VFW Post 334 in Lake Orion, Michigan, took home the 2020 Patriot’s Pen first place prize among more than 138,000 student entries. Listen to her award-winning entry here.


Student entries, accompanied with a completed entry form, must be submitted to a local participating VFW Post. The deadline for both contests is Oct. 31, 2020.


Find your local VFW Post, or read more about the competitions.