Updated November 15th, 2023

Patriot's Pen

Each year, nearly 68,800 students in sixth through eighth grades enter the VFWs Patriots Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000! 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine Americas 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. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements. Your entry should be delivered 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 entry form here


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.
Patriots Pen

The 2023-24 theme is: 
"How Are You Inspired by America?"

About the 2022-2023 winner ...

Leighton Peters, a seventh grade student from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was named the 2022-2023 Patriot's Pen first place winner. Her essay on the theme, "My Pledge to Our Veterans" won her a $5,000 award. Leighton was sponsored by VFW Post 2204 and its Auxiliary in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Watch as Leighton delivered her winning essay, during the VFW's Parade of Winners streamed live on Facebook, or see the complete list of 2023 national winners
If you would like to donate to VFW Post 4031's Youth Scholarship Programs click on the Donate to the Scholarship Program button below.