The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future
generation. If you are a democracy-loving high school student
interested in a potential $30,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school
student interested in winning a potential $5,000, these scholarships may be for
Voice of Democracy-
The 2023-24 theme is:
"What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our 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 ninth through 12th grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $1.3 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program.
The national first place winner receives a $35,000 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-$21,000, 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 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy entry form here.
The 2023-24 theme is:
"How Are You Inspired by America?"
Each year, nearly 68,800 students in sixth through eighth grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. 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 2023-2024 entry form here.
Each year, students in grades 3-5 enter the Department of Washington Youth Essay contest for a chance to win state awards.
The contest encourages our youth to examine history, along with their own beliefs, by drafting an essay of no more than 250 words, expressing their views based on a theme chosen by the Department of Washington VFW. To submit your essay, find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31. Download and complete the 2023-2024 entry form here.
Click here for Youth Essay Scoresheet