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VFW patriotic scholarship and essay contest entries due Oct. 31

September 9, 2019

Commander Everett Beach of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. Post 7447 Rehoboth Beach announced the kickoff of this year’s VFW’s Voice of Democracy Scholarship competition, and the VFW’s annual Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition.

In the scholarship contest, local high school students can compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C.

Students must write and record a three- to five-minute essay on the selected theme using an audio CD or flash drive and present their recording, typed essay and completed entry form to their local VFW Post by Thursday, Oct. 31. The 2019-20 theme is What Makes America Great.

Students begin by competing at the local post level, then post winners compete at the district level with the winner advancing to the state competition. All state first-place winners receive a four-day trip to Washington, D.C., and the chance to compete for their share of more than $150,000 in scholarships. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 college scholarship.

The National Association of Broadcasters started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2.1 million in educational scholarships every year.

For applications and more information about the Voice of Democracy Scholarship competition, email committee member Stephanie McGinnis, rehobothvfw@aol.com.

In the Patriot’s Pen essay contest, area middle school students in grades 6-8 can compete and possibly win thousands of dollars in national awards.

The VFW enacted the competition in 1995 to encourage young minds to examine America’s history along with their own experiences in modern American society by composing a 300- to 400-word patriotic-themed essay.

The theme for the 2019-20 essay competition is What Makes America Great. Students begin by competing at the local post level. Post winners advance to district competition with district winners advancing to the state competition. State first-place winners compete for their share of thousands of dollars in awards, and the national first-place winner is awarded $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Each year, more than 125,000 students participate nationwide. Deadline for student entries is Thursday, Oct. 31.

For more information about the Patriot’s Pen essay contest, email rehobothvfw@aol.com or go to www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen