Each year, more than 51,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.

Knowing that a democratic society needs nurturing, the VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

HOW TO ENTER:

Click here for the 2012-2013 Voice of Democracy entry form.

The deadline to enter the 2012-2013 program is November 1, 2012. The theme for 2012-2013 is: “Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?”

Students should record their reading of the draft to a CD. The recording can be no shorter than 3 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes (plus or minus 5 seconds).

Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to a CD, they can submit their typed version, CD and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the November 1 deadline.

JUDGING CRITERIA: Originality is worth 30 points: Treatment of the theme should show imagination and human interest
Content is worth 35 points: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the other.

Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner.