year, more than 50,000 high school students from across the country
enter to win a share of the $2.3 million in educational scholarships
awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.
Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on an
annual patriotic theme.
The VFW established the Voice of
Democracy program in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the
opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and
principles.The national first place winner receives a $30,000
scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university,
college or vocational/technical school.
WHO CAN ENTER:The
Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the
October 31 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial
high school or home study program in the United States and its
Other national scholarships range
from $500 and up plus the first place winner from each (State) VFW
Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Students should record their
reading of the draft to an audio CD or flash drive. The recording can be
no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes (plus or minus 5
Entries begin at the Post level.
Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio
version to an audio CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version,
CD/flash drive and voice of Democracy entry form to their local
participating VFW Post by the October 31st deadline.
JUDGING CRITERIA:Originality is worth 30 points: Treatment of the theme should show imagination and human interest.
Content is worth 35 points.
Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your
theme and use transitions to move smoothly from on idea to the other.
Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner.
The deadline for submissions for each year is October 31st.
We recognize our Post level winners at our annual Loyalty Day event each year.
Click here for Voice of Democracy National Link
Voice of Democracy Student Entry Form and Brochure