Each 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 territories.
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 seconds).
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 November 1 deadline.
2019-2020 THEME" WHAT MAKES AMERICA GREAT ”
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 the 2019-2020 program is October 31.