What is the Voice of Democracy Program?
Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of
Foreign Wars’ (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year,
nearly 57,000 high school students compete for more than
$2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by
writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic
theme. The 2022-2023 theme is Why Is The Veteran Important?
Who can enter?
The Voice of Democracy is open to students in grades 9-12 by
the Oct. 31 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 winners, GED or Adult Education Students are not eligible for reentry.
What do I need to enter?
Record your original 3-5 minute (+ or – 5 seconds max.)
audio essay and submit the recording, typed essay and
completed entry form 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
firstname.lastname@example.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 and
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