VFW Speech Contest: Why Veterans are Important to our Nation’s History and Future

Previous winner

Previous winner

Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s university, college, or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Madison Haley, a senior at Mount Pulaski High School, in Illinois, was the 2013-2014 Voice of Democracy 1st-place winner for her speech on the theme, “Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future”.

Watch Madison deliver her speech 

YOU TOO CAN WIN $30,000!

WHO CAN ENTER
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12.

HOW TO ENTER
The submission deadline is November 1, 2014. 
 Pick up an application at Manchester District Library or Download it here.

The theme is: Why Veterans are Important to our Nation’s History and Future.

Questions can be directed to Chuck Reed VFW Post 4076 member, at 764-730-3767.

Students should record their speech to a CD. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes. Essays should be submitted to the Post or through Manchester District Library, along with the completed Patriot’s Pen entry form no later than the November 1 deadline.

JUDGING CRITERIA
Originality is worth 30 points: Treatment of the theme should show imagination and human interest.

Content is worth 35 points: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the other.

Delivery is worth 35 points: Speak in a clear and credible manner.

Good luck!

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