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Voice of Democracy Competition
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Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars' (VFW's) premier scholarship program. Each year, more than 100,000 high school students compete for more than $2.5 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. This year's theme is "My Responsibility to America"...


Prizes and scholarships can be awarded at the Post, District, state and national level. Department (State) winners receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., Feb. 25 - March 1, 2017, to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and its VFW Auxiliary and receive their portion of $153,000 in national awards, the top scholarship being $30,000.


Who can enter?

The Voice of Democracy is open to students in grades 9-12 by the Nov. 1 deadline, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions. Although U.S. citizenship is not required, students must be lawful U.S. permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence (the application for which has not been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law. Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over, previous Voice of Democracy first place state winners, GED or Adult Education Students are ineligible

What do you need to enter?

Record your original 3-5 minute (+ or – 5 seconds max.) essay on an audio CD or a flash drive. One student per CD or flash drive. When burning your CD, make sure that “Create Audio CD” option (or similar) is selected so the program can properly convert your sound file and burn it to CD. After it has finished, be sure to play back your audio CD on a system other than your computer, such as a standard radio or car CD player, to verify that the conversion/burning process was successful. You will submit the recording, typed essay and this completed entry form. Provide these items to your school/group competition or local VFW Post for judging. In addition you can submit your emailed entry form, essay, and audio file to the VFW Post upon approval. You must be the sole author of your essay. The recording must be in your own voice and in English. Hearing/speech impaired students should email the Voice of Democracy National Office at kharmer@vfw.org for special instructions. No music, singing, poetry or sound effects are allowed. The body of the essay must not identify you in any way, (including, but not limited to your name, school, city, state, race, or national origin) although the recording & typed essay should be labeled with your name, to show ownership. You may enter only one competition at one Post (if otherwise eligible) per year. At any time during the contest, additional participant personal information could be requested by the VFW, including but not limited to a photograph, SSN, or biographical information.

What is the deadline for your entry?

All entries competing at the Post level must be in the hands of that VFW Post by midnight, Nov. 1, 2016. It is the responsibility of the student to meet this deadline by submitting their entry to the proper location by ensuring it is a participating Post.


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 another.

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

Please send application to our Post / Auxiliary for submissions

VFW Auxiliary 12024
P.O. Box 8341
The Woodlands, TX 77387-8341

Voice of Democracy 2016-2017 Entry Form

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