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The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation. If a student is a democracy-loving high school student interested in a $30,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, these scholarships may be for you.
Voice of Democracy: Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with a unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 51,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $1.9 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 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
The 2020-21 theme is “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?”
Patriot’s Pen: Each year more than 138,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first-place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. The 2020-21 theme is “What is Patriotism to Me.”
Want to apply for the Voice of Democracy or Patriot’s Pen Scholarship? Read the rules and eligibility requirements and download the entry form from the VFW website or contact the local school’s counselors. Read the forms carefully in order to follow the guidelines required for each entry. Any interested student may research more information online under the VFW Department of Missouri Website: movfw.org and search under Programs for Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen information.
Those students in grades 6-8 interested in the Patriot’s Pen Scholarship are to contact the guidance counselor in the Scotland Country R-I Elementary School for information. Those in grades 9-12 interested in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship should contact their counselor at the Scotland County R-I High School. Students may also contact Jo Beth Harvey at 465-2744 or Lin Stephenson at 465-2418.
Entries may be given to guidance counselors who will submit them to the Memphis VFW post if the entrant chooses. Once scholarships are completed per guidelines, the entries are due locally to the Wallace Gillespie VFW Post #4958 no later than October 31 (SCR-I school counselors by October 30) of this year to be eligible for local competition. Winners will advance to the district competition.