Updated November 15th, 2023


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 $1.3 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

The national first place winner receives a $35,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipients 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, read the rules and eligibility requirements. Submit your entry to your sponsoring VFW Post which is VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Avenue, Durango, CO., 81301. Applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31, 2023.


Download and complete the 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy entry from here.

The 2023-24 theme is: 
"What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?"
The Second way to enter the competition for these scholarships is by using the Scholars App. Click on the following link to go to the Scholars App website. Scholars App. The thumbnail below is the form for the VFW Post 4031 Scholars App page. Click on the thumbnail to go to the Full size page. Use your camera to look at the QR for the scholarship and go to the appropriate page which tells the student how to enter.

About the 2022-2023 winner ...

Scotland Stewart, a sophomore at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee,, was named the 2022-2023 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Scotlands speech on the theme, "Why is the Veteran Important?" won him a $35,000 college scholarship. Scotland was sponsored by VFW Post 1893 in Estill Springs, Tennessee. Watch as Scotland delivered his speech during the VFW's Parade of Winners award ceremony.

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.