Voice of Democracy
Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracyaudio-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 25,000 ninth through 12th grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $1.3 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first place winner receives a $35,000 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-$21,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins at least a scholarship of $1,000. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements, and find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31. Download and complete the 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy entry form here.
Each year, nearly 68,800 students in sixth through eighth grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million 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!
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. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements, and find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31. Download and complete the 2023-2024 entry form here.
Without our nation’s veterans, America wouldn't be the great nation it is today. Our youth deserve to learn about our rich history, traditions and the role of our veterans in creating and shaping America.
Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects elementary, middle, and high school teachers to participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program.
Please review the new rules and eligibility requirements and, we should have the 2021 nomination form available shortly so you can nominate a teacher you know. Teacher nomination entries must be received at a local participating VFW Post by the Oct. 31 deadline.
Looking to share updated information and materials on VFW's Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen and Teacher Award programs? Share our National Scholarship Brochure with the students and educators in your community.
Some of our earliest ties to the community involve youth groups and perhaps none are stronger or more lasting than the relationship between the VFW and America's scouting organizations. In fact, our partnership with the Boy Scouts of America dates back to 1915 when VFW Post 2100 helped to establish Troop 1 in Everett, Washington.
Our Scout of the Year program provides members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to be recognized for their standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country.
Before submitting your Scout of the Year application, please review the rules and eligibility requirements. Please check back soon for the 2021-22 application!
click here for entry form and more information Scout of the Year - VFW