VFW Youth Contest Prizes Grow as Deadline Approaches

Entries for the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests are due by Oct. 31

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is pleased to announce an additional $15,000 will be awarded to the top three Voice of Democracy national winners for the 2022-23 contest. The national first place prize has increased to $35,000, with second and third place national winners now taking home $21,000 and $15,000 respectfully.

Deadlines for the VFW’s annual youth scholarship contests are fast approaching. Entries for the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions must be received by a local participating VFW Post no later than Oct. 31.

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 popular contests also promote friendly competition and reward success in the form of more than $3 million in combined scholarships at the local, state and national levels.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition is open to all ninth-12th grade students, with this year’s theme asking students “Why is the Veteran Important?” Annually, more than 25,000 students compete in the competition. 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. Sponsored by VFW Post 9486 and its Auxiliary in Centereach, New York, she delivered her essay in front of the Statue of Liberty during this year’s virtual Parade of Winners ceremony.

Open to eligible sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, this year’s Patriot’s Pen theme asks students to reflect and expand on “My Pledge to Our Veterans.” Syed Ali, an eighth grade student from Lafayette, Louisiana, was named the 2021-2022 Patriot's Pen first place winner. He was sponsored by VFW Post 1982 in New Iberia, Louisiana. He also delivered his winning essay at the annual Parade of Winner’s ceremony.

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, 2022.

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