VFW encourages the country’s youth to examine our nation’s history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Patriot’s Pen, Voice of Democracy, and Creative Patriotic Art Awards.

Annually, roughly 120,000 students from grades 6-8, enter the Patriot’s Pen essay contest to win national awards totaling $54,500, as well as an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.

Each year, more than 40,000 high school students (grades 9-12) from across the country enter to win a share of the $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.

Finally, the VFW also offers Creative Patriotic Art Awards for students in grades 9-12 chosen to compete on paper or canvas. The first place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $21,000.

Students must attend school in the same state as the sponsoring VFW Auxiliary. Students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools in the United States are eligible as well as home-schooled students. Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed in the National contest are excluded.

Any Scotland County student in grades 6-12 who is interested in competing in an essay and/or artistic competition should contact the Scotland County counselors Tina Fulk and Dani Fromm at the schools. Jo Beth Harvey and Lin Stephenson, VFW scholarship committee members, are also contacts for information.

Local VFW #3958 deadlines for the Patriot’s Pen (Theme: “American History: Our Hope for the Future”) and Voice of Democracy (Theme: “America’s Gift to My Generation”) are October 31, 2017. The Creative Patriotic Art Award competition deadline is set for March 30, 2018. Youth American Creative Patriotic Art Contest information will be revealed on the website at a later date and is due April 1, 2018.

For information concerning precise details regarding essay construction and scoring, students should check the VFW website https://vfw.org and search under the Community tab, Youth & Education, Youth Scholarship. A special form must be printed and completed and submitted with the essays. The Voice of Democracy essay also requires an audio CD/flash drive.