Patriotic Audio Essay Competition

The Veteran of Foreign War (VFW) is proud to present the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program. The scholarship is open to students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program. 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. The winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., March 3-7, 2018, to tour the city, and its Auxiliary and receive their portion of $154,000 in national awards, the top scholarship being $30,000 award.

The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide the opportunity for the students to express themselves in regards democratic ideas and principles. Veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements and are recognized for the sacrifices, are the vision of VFW.

Eligibility:

The applicants must follow the given criteria:

  • Students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions, or in an overseas U.S. military/civilian dependent school.
  • Although U.S. citizenship is not required, students must be lawful U.S. permanent residents
  • Have applied for permanent residence (the application for which has not been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law.
  • Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over, previous Voice of Democracy first-place state winners, GED or Adult Education Students are ineligible.

How to Apply:

  • Record your original 3-5 minute (+ or – 5 seconds max.) essay on an audio CD or a flash drive.
  • The recording must be in your own voice and in English. No music, singing, poetry or sound effects are allowed.
  • Hearing/speech impaired students should email the Voice of Democracy National Office at youthscholarships-at-vfw.org for special instructions.
  • If you have trouble getting in touch with them, you can contact them through the given link: https://www.vfw.org/contact-us

Financial Aid and Award Money:     

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 and first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) also wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000

Application Deadline: 

The application deadline for Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program is October 31, 2017.

Link for More Information:

https://www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen/?Action=SkipLogin&…

Contact Information:

If you need any assistance you can contact at

(816) 756-3390 ext. 6117

Email: youthscholarships-at-vfw.org www.vfw.org

Voice of Democracy (VOD) is an annual nationwide scholarship program sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). It is an audio-essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12. The program annually provides more than $2.3 million in scholarships. The first-place winner, who competes with all the first-place VFW Department (state) winners, receives a $30,000 scholarship that is paid directly to the recipient's American university, college or vocational/technical school.

Besides competing for the top scholarship prize, as well as other national scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $16,000, each Department's first-place winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in March (annually).

The Voice of Democracy Program began in 1946 and was originally sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters. Initially, there were four winners selected, representing the North, South, East and West regions of the country. Each winner received a $500 savings bond and a wristwatch. The second year of the program, a student by the name of Charles Kuralt, the late television news broadcaster and author, was one of the winners.

It is endorsed by the contest criteria of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and is designed to foster patriotism by allowing students the opportunity to voice their opinion in a three- to five-minute essay based on an annual theme. Historically, the Voice of Democracy theme (chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief annually) is purposely kept broad in scope to allow the participant flexibility in interpretation, and thus, encourage originality. The new theme is posted on the website by May of each year.

The audiotape or audio CD (with the typed essay recited word-for-word), the actual typed essay, and completed official student entry form must be delivered to a local, participating VFW Post by the student entry deadline of November 1.


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External links[edit]

Logo used by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the Voice of Democracy program.

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