Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the nation enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.
The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) 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). 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.
WHO CAN ENTER:
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
HOW TO ENTER:
The deadline for submissions for the 2013-2014 program is November 1, 2013. Entry form for 2013-2014 is available here.
The theme for 2013-2014 is: “Why I’m Optimistic About our Nation’s Future”
Students should record their reading of the draft to a CD. 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.
For more information, visit the Voice of Democracy Scholarship.
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