Youth Scholarship Contest Entries Due Oct. 31

Deadline approaches for Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen

Middle and high schoolers wanting to be part of VFW’s national scholarship contests need to finish their essays and apply for the Voice of Democracy or Patriot’s Pen by the end of October. The deadline is set for Oct. 31 at midnight.

Patriots Pen winner
Then-VFW National Auxiliary National President Jane Reape, left, and then-VFW Commander-in-Chief Timothy Borland, right, present a $5,000 check to Leighton Peters, center, on March 6 in Washington, D.C., after the seventh grader won first place in the 2022-23 Patriot’s Pen contest. Peters, of Rice Lake, Wis., was sponsored by VFW Post 2204 and its Auxiliary in Rice Lake.
The Voice of Democracy competition is open to students in grades 9-12. It was established in 1947, and an average of 25,000 high school students participate in the audio essay each year. The national winner receives a $35,000 scholarship, which is paid to the winner’s college or technical school.

Voice of Democracy is an audio essay. Participants are asked to make a recording and tell their thoughts in the democratic and patriot-themed essay. This year’s Voice of Democracy theme is: “What are the greatest attributes of our Democracy?”

For the national winner of the Patriot’s Pen contest, the middle school entrant receives $5,000. Patriot’s Pen is an essay competition open to students in grades 6-8, that encourages young minds to examine America’s history and modern society.

Patriot’s Pen requires students to draft a 300-400 word essay. This year’s Patriot’s Pen theme is: “How are you inspired by America?”

Students wanting to participate in the Voice of Democracy or Patriot’s Pen competitions need to contact their local VFW Post. For more information about the essay competitions, visit