high school student could win trip to Washington, DC, and $30,000
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[September 20, 2012]
Commanders of Veterans of
Foreign Wars posts across Illinois have announced the kickoff of the 66th
year of the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Voice of Democracy Scholarship
competition. Local high school students have the opportunity to compete for
thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C.
The Voice of Democracy Scholarship
contest is an annual nationwide audio essay competition designed to
give ninth- to 12th-grade high school students, ages 15-19, an
opportunity to voice their opinion on their responsibility to our
country. Home-schooled students are also invited to participate.
Students must write and record a
three- to five-minute essay on this theme for 2012-2013: "Is Our
Constitution Still Relevant?" The recording is to be on an audio
cassette tape or audio CD. Students competing enter their recording,
typed essay and entry form at their local VFW post. The deadline is
Post winners advance to district
judging, and then the first-place district winners advance to the
state competition in Springfield. All state winners receive a
four-day trip to Washington, D.C.
A total of $152,000 is awarded to
national finalists. First place is a $30,000 scholarship paid
directly to the recipientís American university, college or
Annually the VFW provides more than
$2.3 million in scholarships. Around 50,000 students participate in
the competition each year.
The Voice of Democracy contest was
started by the National Association of Broadcasters in the late
1940s, and the VFW became involved in the late 1950s. The VFW took
over primary sponsorship in 1961, when the broadcasters could no
longer sponsor the program nationally. Then in 1964, the VFW Ladies
Auxiliary joined in sponsorship of the program.
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Because of the active program
promotion and participation, the national scholarship funds have
steadily increased from four national winners in 1962, with total
scholarships of $3,750, to the current level of 63 national
scholarships totaling $152,000.
For more information about the
Voice of Democracy competition, contact the Veterans of Foreign Wars
post in your area. If you are unsure of the post in your area,
contact Illinois VFW headquarters in Springfield at 217-529-6688.
For more information, visit