Post 8053 Auxiliary announced 2017-2018 National Scholarship programs

Sandra Whittenberg

Let’s get our students grades 6-12 excited about our country!! And competing for scholarship money, too!

VFW Auxiliary offers three annual scholarship programs for students grades 6-12. Scholarship awards are available at the local, district, state and national VFW Auxiliary levels. The information given here is for students, teachers, parents, grandparents and anyone else who has an interest in youth in this age range.

Two scholarship programs are available to students in grades 9-12 – Voice of Democracy and Young American Patriotic Art.

Who Can Enter?: The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the October 31 deadline) who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home-study program in the United States and its territories. Applicant 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.

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. The 2017-18 Voice of Democracy theme is American History: Our Hope for the Future.

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest has same eligibility requirements as the Voice of Democracy program listed above. Each year, more than 3,500 high school students from across the country participate in the VFW Auxiliary’s American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The contest began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $21,000.

Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest has the same eligibility requirements as the two contests above, except students must be in grades 6-8. Each year, more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $54,500, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 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. Want to apply? 2017-18 Patriot’s Pen theme is America’s Gift to My Generation.

Remember, there are monetary awards at the local VFW Chapter, District, State and National levels.

First deadline for entries to our local VFW chapter is March 31, 2018.

For complete details on each of these three scholarship contests, to run off rules and application forms, go to website https://vfwauxiliary.org/scholarships/; ask your school office which teacher is in charge of the program at your school; contact our Scholarship Chairman Angie Freedline at [email protected]