Area students are being encouraged to participate in a 75-year-old VFW essay contest that can result in a $35,000 scholarship.
According to Henryetta VFW Post 539 service officer Tricia Bear, the annual Voice of Democracy and patriots pen youth competition is now accepting entries.
This year the theme is "What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?" voice
Established in 1947, the 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 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. 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.
To enter, students should submit their essay on a thumb drive to VFW Auxillary Post 539 in Henryetta. Applications must be turned in to the VFW Auxillary Post 539 by October 30. If you have any questions, please call VFW Post 539 VFW Auxillary member Carol Smith at (918) 232-5621 or VFW Veteran Service Officer Tricia Bear at (479) 414-0952.
Download application for Voice of Democracy and patriots pen essay competitions at
For students in sixth through eighth grades, there is the Patriot's Pen Essay competition.
The theme this year is "How Are You Inspired by America?"
Each year, nearly 68,800 students in sixth through eighth grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of nearly $1 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 America’s 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 on thumbdrive, read the rules and eligibility requirements and download the essay applications at and contact VFW Auxillary Post 539 if you need any assistance as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 30.