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 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 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 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, then download and complete the 2019-20 entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
The 2019-20 theme is:
What Makes America Great
About the 2018-19 winner ...
Christine Troll, a senior home-school student from Somerset, Pa., was named the 2018-19 Voice of Democracy first-place winner. Christine's speech on the theme, "Why My Vote Matters," won her a $30,000 college scholarship. Christine was sponsored by VFW Post 554 and its Auxiliary in Somerset, Pa. Watch as Christine delivered her winning speech.
Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the Parade of Winners ceremony from the 2019 VFW Legislative Conference, see this year's complete list of winners, or listen to the winning essay from your state.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2018-19. We thank all of America's teachers and youth leaders for the time, effort and commitment they invest in our young people each year. We have a number of ways in which to assist you in helping to ensure your students get a head start on their future.
Get Acquainted with VFW's Programs
National Scholarship Programs Brochure