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Annual VFW Youth Scholarship Competitions Now Open

Students compete for their take on more than $3.3 million in scholarships and awards

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting entries into its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes after students from across the globe recently took home their share of more than $3.3 million in scholarships and awards from last year’s competitions.

The VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, and to help foster patriotism among today’s youth. Students are required to submit an oral or written essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.

This year’s Voice of Democracy theme asks high school students to describe, “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” Voice of Democracy is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner is presented the $30,000, T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship award. More than 46,000 high school students competed in last year’s competition.

The Patriot’s Pen writing competition is open to students in grades 6-8. This year, students are asked to reflect on the statement, “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The national winner will receive a $5,000 award. More than 122,000 middle and junior high school students competed in last year’s competition. Both national awards will be presented during the 2018 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., in March.

Student participants are asked to submit their entry (along with a completed entry form) to their local participating VFW Post. The deadline for student entries in both contests is October 31, 2017.

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