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Voice of Democracy Rules and Eligibility

2024-2025 Theme: “Is America Today Our Forefathers’ Vision?”

Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2024

National First Place Prize: $35,000 Award

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, nearly 25,000 ninth through 12th grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

The national first place winner receives a $35,000 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-$21,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins at least a scholarship of $1,000. Before submitting your essay, download the 2024-2025 entry form here and find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31

Theme is: "Is America Today Our Forefathers' Vision?"

About the 2023-2024 winner …

Sophia Lin, a high school junior at BASIS Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona, was named the 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Sophia’s speech on the theme, “What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?” won her a $35,000 college scholarship. Sophia was sponsored by Scottsdale VFW Post 3513. Watch as Sophia delivered her speech during the VFW’s Parade of Winners award ceremony or read it here.

Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the full Parade of Winners ceremony which was streamed live on Facebook, or see this year’s complete list of winners.