Voice of Democracy
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 25,000 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 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 2022-2023 Voice of Democracy entry form here.
The 2022-23 theme is:
"Why Is The Veteran Important?”
About the 2021-2022 winner ...
Daniela Mare, a junior at Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, was named the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Daniela's speech on the theme, "America: Where Do We Go from Here?" won her a $30,000 college scholarship. Daniela VFW Post 9486 and its Auxiliary in Centereach, New York. Watch as Daniela delivered her speech during the VFW's virtual Parade of Winners award ceremony.
You can watch the full virtual Parade of Winners ceremony which was streamed live on Facebook, or see this year's complete list of winners.
About the VFW, Department of Utah 2022 winner...
Seventh-place winner Phebe Ramsdell, from Layton, UT, represented the VFW Department of Utah, District 3, and Miller-Frazer VFW Post 8307, and was awarded the $4,000 Department of Indiana and Auxiliary Scholarship & Department of New Jersey Howard E. Vander Clute Scholarship (combined).