The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation. If you are a democracy-loving high school student interested in a $35,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, these scholarships may be for you.


Voice of Democracy (9th grade- 12 grade)

VOD winner

Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regard 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 ranges 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, download the 2024-2025 entry form here and turn into VFW Post 2951 at 307 Montezuma Avenue Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 or email to by midnight, Oct. 31


The 2024-25 theme is: 
"Is America Today Our Forefathers' Vision?"


Patriots Pen (6th grade- 8th grade)

Patriots Pen winner

Patriot's Pen

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, download the 2024-2025 entry form here and turn into VFW Post 2951 at 307 Montezuma Avenue Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 or email to by midnight, Oct. 31 

The 2024-25 theme is: 
"My Voice in America's Democracy?"