$2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition are shared each year with winners of the more than 51,000 high school students from across the country who enter to win.
Nurturing our democratic society, the VFW has sponsored the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) since 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideals 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. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
HOW TO ENTER:Voice of Democracy Student Entry Form and Brochure 2017 (8 downloads) Voice of Democracy Rules and Eligibility (5 downloads)
The deadline to enter the 2017-2018 program is October 31, 2017. The theme for 2017-2018 is:“American History: Our Hope for the Future”
Students should record their reading of the draft to a CD or flash drive. The recording can be no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes (plus or minus 5 seconds).
Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to a CD, they can submit their typed version, CD and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the November 1 deadline.
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 one idea to the other.
Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner.