VFW Voice of Democracy web site

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VFW Oklahoma is proud to offer the VOICE OF DEMOCRACY essay contest!

Each year, nearly 38,000 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.

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 a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

About the 2016-17 winner…

Savannah Wittman, a senior at Bret Harte High School, was named the 2016-17 Voice of Democracy first-place winner. Savannah’s speech on the theme, “My Vision for America,” won her a $30,000 college scholarship which she plans to apply toward her career in veterinary medicine. Savannah was sponsored by VFW Post 12118 and its Auxiliary in Copperopolis, Calif.

Watch Savannah deliver her speech, read her essay, or see the complete list of 2017 winners.

YOU TOO CAN WIN $30,000!

WHO CAN ENTER
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.

HOW TO ENTER
Click here to access the Voice of Democracy 2017 – 18 entry form and brochure.  

Ask your teacher if your school is participating.  You can still enter if they are or not.  If you experience problems with downloading or printing the application, please try to access the entry form using Internet Explorer. If you continue to experience problems, please contact your local Post.

Mail your completed application and recorded speech to your local VFW Post

The 2017-18 theme is: 
American History: Our Hope for the Future

Students should record their reading of the draft to an audio CD or flash drive. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes (plus or minus five seconds).

Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to an audio CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version, CD/flash drive 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.