Voice of Democracy
2021 - 2022
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 2021-2022 entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
The 2021-2022 theme is:
American: Where Do We Go From Here?
Entries begin at your Post. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to a CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version, CD/flash drive and the Voice of Democracy entry form to your VFW Post / VFW Auxiliary no later than October 1, 2017.
Please send application to your VFW Post / VFW Auxiliary for submissions.
National Winner for 2020-2021
Erin Stoeckig, a high school junior from Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota, was named the 2020-2021 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Erin's speech on the theme, "Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?" won her a $30,000 college scholarship. Erin was sponsored by VFW Post 1215 and its Auxiliary in Rochester, Minnesota. Watch as Erin delivered her speech during the VFW's first-ever virtual Parade of Winners award ceremony, live on Facebook.
Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the Parade of Winners ceremony which was streamed live on Facebook, see this year's complete list of winners, or listen to the winning essay from your state.