Established in 1947, our 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. Each year, nearly 64,500 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient's American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy entry form as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
WHO CAN ENTER
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 enrolled by the Oct. 31 deadline in public, private, parochial school, or home study program in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools are also eligible to participate.
HOW TO ENTER
Download the Voice of Democracy entry form and brochure to submit your essay to your local VFW Post.
Students should record their reading of the draft to an or flash drive or sharable file through email. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes (plus or minus five seconds).
Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes recording their audio onto a flash drive or other recording device, they can submit their typed version, audio and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the Oct. 31 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.