Program Description

Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in a democratic- and patriotic-themed recorded essay.  Each year, more than 25,000 students in Grades 9-12 from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 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.  The other national scholarships range from $1,000-$21,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000.

VFW Post 12002 is once again proud to support this Program and provide the following additional cash prizes at the Post level :

1st Place Winner  - $200.00        2nd Place Winner  -  $150.00        3rd Place Winner  -  $100.00

[ The total cost of this year's program is underwritten by an educational grant
from Operation Santa Charities, Inc., a Georgia-based charity ]

How to Apply

1.  Read the Rules and Eligibility Requirements

2.  Download and complete the 2022-2023 Entry Form 

3.  If you have any questions, contact Post 12002's Voice of Democracy Program Chairman :

Dennis Parmer    dennisparmer@hotmail.com    678-704-7410

4.  Although the deadline for submitting entries is midnight on October 31,
     we would appreciate it if you could have your entry in by October 26.

5.  Submit your Entry Form, typed Essay and Audio Recording by eMail to the Program Chairman
     (Do not put your Name on your Essay)

This Year's Theme

The 2022-2023 theme is   Why is the Veteran important ?

About the 2021-2022 Winner

Daniela Mare, a junior at Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, was named the 2021-2022 Voice of Democracy first place winner.  Daniela's speech on the theme, "America: Where Do We Go from Here?" won her a $30,000 college scholarship.  Daniela was sponsored by VFW Post 9486 and its Auxiliary in Centereach, New York.

Watch Daniela deliver her speech in New York

See the complete list of 2021-2022 National Winners