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 64,500 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 a minimum scholarship of $1,000. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy entry form as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
The 2021-22 theme is:
America: Where Do We Go From Here?
About the 2020-2021 winner ...
Erin Stoeckig, a high school junior from Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota, was named the 2020-2021 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Erin's speech on the theme, "Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?" won her a $30,000 college scholarship. Erin was sponsored by VFW Post 1215 and its Auxiliary in Rochester, Minnesota. Watch as Erin delivered her speech during the VFW's first-ever virtual Parade of Winners award ceremony, live on Facebook.
Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the Parade of Winners ceremony which was streamed live on Facebook, see this year's complete list of winners, or listen to the winning essay from your state.