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Love Democracy? You Can Earn Scholarship up to $30,000!

VFW Youth Scholarship Competition Due by Oct. 31 and VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest due by Mar 31, 2021


The following information is from www.vfm.org.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW, is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. 

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 $30,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, these scholarships may be for you.

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, more than 51,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $1.9 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

Shruthi Kumar

About the 2019-20 winner …

Shruthi Kumar, a high school senior from Marian High School in Omaha, Nebraska, was named the 2019-20 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Shruthi’s speech on the theme, “What Makes America Great,” won her a $30,000 college scholarship. Shruthi was sponsored by VFW Post 1581 in Omaha, Nebraska. Watch as Shruthi delivered her winning speech during the Parade of Winners ceremony at the 2020 VFW Legislative Conference.

Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the Parade of Winners ceremony from the 2020 VFW Legislative Conference, see this year’s complete list of winners, or listen to the winning essay from your state. 

The 2020-21 theme is: 
Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?

Who is eligible: 9-12 grade students

When is deadline: Oct 31, 2020 

What’s the prize: 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. 

How to Enter: Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download the 2020-21 entry form application, as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.

Patriot’s Pen

Each year more than 138,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. 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. 

Ruby Howe

About the 2019-20 winner …

Ruby Howe, a seventh grade student from Rochester Hills, Michigan, was named the 2019-20 Patriot’s Pen first place winner. Her essay on the theme, “What Makes America Great,” won her a $5,000 award. Ruby was sponsored by VFW Post 334 in Lake Orion, Michigan.

Watch as Ruby delivered her winning essay, or see the complete list of 2020 national winners.

The 2020-21 theme is: 
What is Patriotism to Me?

Who is eligible: 6-8 grade students

When is deadline: Oct 31, 2020 

What’s the prize: Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. 

How to Enter: Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download the 2020-21 entry form application as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest

Each year, more than 4,000 high school students from across the country participate in the VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The contest began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth. View the 2019-2020 state winners or  all the previous first-place national winners

What are the Scholarship Submission Requirements?

  • Two-dimensional art must be on canvas or paper. Watercolor, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen, ink, oil, marker or other media taught may be used.
  • Do not frame two-dimensional pieces.
  • Submit canvas entries on a stretcher frame or canvas board. Other entries must be
    matted in white. Do not use color mats. Reinforce the back with heavy paper. Mounted and floating mats may also be used.
  • The art should be no smaller than 8” x 10” but no larger than 18” x 24”, not including mat.
  • Three dimensional art can be paper, papier-mâché, pottery, clay, metal work, fabric, etc.
  • Pieces should be no larger than 18” in any direction.
  • Art cannot be more than 5 lbs. in weight.
  • Digital art, photography and jewelry are NOT ACCEPTED.
  • Complete entry form and attach to back of entry.
  • Submit a typed explanation of patriotism expressed in art (250 words or less).

Who is eligible: 

  • Students in grades 9-12 by the March 31 deadline who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools.
  • Student must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
  • Student does not have to be related to a VFW or VFW Auxiliary member to participate, but the student must attend school in the same state as the sponsoring VFW Auxiliary.
  • Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over, GED and adult education students, or national winners of previous Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contests are ineligible.

When is deadline: 

  • March 31: Student Entry Deadline to Local VFW Auxiliary.*
  • April 10:  Local VFW Auxiliary and District Judging Complete.
  • April 15:  Local VFW Auxiliary and District Winners to Department (state) for Judging.*
  • May 5:  VFW Auxiliary Department (state) Winners to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters.*

What’s the prize:

  • The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $31,500.

How to Enter:

  • Complete entry form and attach to back of entry.

 

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