fbpx

The VFW Voice of Democracy Contest

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a female student recording an audio essay

The VFW Voice of Democracy Contest

Unleash your patriotic spirit and ignite your creativity in the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest, where young minds shine as they express their love for America in an epic audio-essay battle!

This prestigious competition offers high school students across the United States an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of democratic principles while earning scholarships for higher education.

The contest aims to promote patriotism and civic engagement among young people by asking them to submit a three to five-minute audio essay on a topic related to American democracy and civic responsibility.

The contest is open to all high school students in the United States as well as those attending school overseas. It has been very successful over the years, helping to instill a sense of civic pride and responsibility in young people and encouraging them to become more involved in their communities.

Beautiful young woman reading book with classmates studying in background.

The contest provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn about American democracy and civic engagement.

By participating in the contest, students can learn about the history of American democracy, the role of citizens in shaping democracy, and the importance of civic engagement. This knowledge can help students become better-informed citizens and leaders in their communities.

It also helps to instill a sense of patriotism and civic responsibility in young people. As part of the contest, students are asked to reflect on the values that are important to the VFW and the country as a whole.

They are encouraged to think critically about the challenges facing American democracy and to consider their role in shaping the future of their communities and the country.

By participating in the contest, students can develop a greater sense of civic pride and responsibility, which can motivate them to become more engaged in their communities and advocate for positive change.

Introduction: VFW Voice of Democracy Contest

This is an annual competition for high school students that was established by the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization in 1947.

The contest was created to promote patriotism and civic engagement among young people in the United States.

Over the years, the contest has become a prestigious competition that offers valuable scholarship opportunities to high school students while encouraging them to learn about American democracy and civic responsibility.

The first VFW Voice of Democracy Contest was held in 1947, with the theme “The Responsibility of America to the World.” The contest was open to all high school students in the US, and participants were required to submit a written essay of up to 1,000 words.

The contest was an immediate success, with thousands of high school students from across the country submitting essays.

Female student writing on a table.

In 1958, the competition underwent a major change with the introduction of a new format that required participants to submit a recorded audio essay instead of a written essay.

This change was made to reflect the growing importance of oral communication skills in American society. The new format was an instant hit, and the number of participants increased dramatically.

Over the years, the competition has continued to evolve and grow. The contest theme changes every year, and it always focuses on a topic related to American democracy and civic responsibility.

The contest has become an important platform for high school students to learn about the values that are important to the VFW and the country as a whole.

Purpose of the Contest

The contest has a threefold purpose: to encourage civic responsibility, foster patriotism, and support youth education. In this blog post, we will explore each of these purposes in detail and explain why they are important.

Encouraging civic responsibility

By participating in the contest, students are asked to reflect on the values that are important to American democracy and to consider their role in shaping the future of their communities and the country.

a female student reading through her notes posted on her mirror

Through their research, writing, and oral presentations, students develop a greater understanding of democratic principles and the importance of civic engagement. The contest encourages students to become active and engaged citizens who are committed to making a positive difference in their communities.

Fostering patriotism

By participating in the contest, students learn about the history of American democracy, the sacrifices made by American veterans and their families, and the values that are important to the VFW and the country as a whole.

The contest instills a sense of pride and recognition in the participants, and it encourages them to become more involved in promoting Americanism and patriotism in their communities.

Supporting youth education

The contest offers valuable scholarship opportunities to high school students. The scholarship money can make a significant difference in a student’s ability to pursue higher education, and it can help alleviate the financial burden of attending college.

By participating in the contest, students also gain valuable skills in research, writing, and oral communication that can help them succeed in college and beyond.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. They must be enrolled in a public, private, or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories, or its possessions, or in an overseas school sponsored by the US Department of Defense.
  2. They must be a US citizen or US nationals.
  3. They must not have previously won a VFW Voice of Democracy Contest at any level.

Contest Requirements

The competition has specific requirements that participants must follow. The contest requirements include the following:

  • Theme: Participants must submit an audio essay on a theme related to American democracy and civic responsibility. The theme changes every year, and it is announced in July.
  • Length: The audio essay must be between three and five minutes in length.
  • Recording: The audio essay must be recorded on a CD or USB flash drive and submitted to the VFW post by the deadline.
  • Written Script: A written script of the essay must be submitted with the recording.
  • Cover Sheet: A cover sheet must be submitted with the recording and the written script. The cover sheet should include the student’s name, address, phone number, email address, school, and grade.
  • Deadline: The deadline for submitting entries is typically in October or November, but this may vary from year to year.

By following these requirements, high school students can participate in this prestigious competition and earn valuable scholarships while learning about American democracy and civic engagement.

Prizes and Recognition

This is an annual competition for high school students that offers valuable scholarship opportunities to the winners. The contest has become a prestigious competition that is highly regarded by educators, students, and the broader community.

Here, we will discuss the prizes and recognition that are available to participants in the Voice of Democracy Contest.

Prizes

The competition offers scholarships to the winners. The scholarships range from $500 to $5,000, and they are awarded at the local, state, and national levels.

The amount of the scholarship prize depends on the level of the competition and the place the student wins.

Recognition

The competition also provides recognition to the winners. The winners are recognized at the local, state, and national levels, and their achievements are celebrated by the VFW and the broader community.

The winners are typically announced in February, and they are invited to attend an awards ceremony where they can receive their scholarship prizes and be recognized for their achievements.

How are winners selected for the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest?

How are winners selected for the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest? The contest is judged based on specific criteria, including originality, content, clarity, and delivery.

In this blog post, we will explore each of these criteria in detail and explain how they are used to judge the contest.

Originality

Originality is an important criterion for judging the competition. The judges are looking for essays that demonstrate a unique perspective on the contest theme and offer fresh insights into the issues facing American democracy and civic responsibility.

Participants are encouraged to be creative and to approach the theme uniquely and originally. The judges are looking for essays that are not only well-researched and well-written but also offer new ideas and perspectives on the theme.

Content and Clarity

Content and clarity are also important criteria for judging the competition. Participants are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding of the contest theme and offer a well-reasoned argument in support of their position. Essays that are clear, concise, and easy to understand are more likely to be successful in the contest.

a female student writing on her notebook

Delivery

Delivery is the final criterion for judging the competition. Participants are expected to deliver a well-prepared and well-rehearsed oral presentation of their essays.

The judges are looking for participants who are confident, articulate, and engaging in their delivery. Participants should be able to convey their ideas clearly and persuasively, and they should be able to maintain the attention of the audience throughout their presentation.

In addition to these criteria, the judges may also consider factors such as grammar, punctuation, and adherence to the contest rules.

Participants are encouraged to carefully review the contest rules and guidelines before submitting their entries to ensure that they meet all of the requirements.

By carefully considering these criteria, participants can increase their chances of success in the contest and earn valuable scholarships while learning about American democracy, civic responsibility, and patriotism.

Selection Process

The selection process for the contest involves four levels of competition, including the local VFW post level, district level, state level, and national level.

Here, we will explore each level of the selection process in detail and explain how participants can advance to the next level of the competition.

Local VFW Post Level

The first level of the selection process for the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest is the local VFW post level. Participants must submit their audio essay and written script to their local VFW post by the deadline.

The local VFW post will then select a winner from among the entries and submit that winner to the district level of the competition.

District Level

The second level of the selection process is the district level.

Each VFW district will receive the winning entry from each local post within its jurisdiction and will select a winner from among those entries. The district winner will then be submitted to the state level of the competition.

State Level

The third level of the selection process is the state level. Each state will receive the winning entry from each district within its jurisdiction and will select a state winner from among those entries. The state winner will then be submitted to the national level of the competition.

National Level

The fourth and final level of the selection process is the national level. The VFW national headquarters will receive the state winners from each state and will select a national winner from among those entries.

The selection process for the competition is rigorous and competitive, with participants advancing through multiple levels of the competition to reach the national level.

Each level of the competition is judged based on specific criteria, including originality, content, clarity, and delivery. Participants who are successful at the local VFW post level must continue to refine their essays and delivery in order to advance to the next level of the competition.

Are there any tips for students who want to submit a solid entry for the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest?

Are there any tips for students who want to submit a solid entry for the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest? If you are a student interested in this competition, read on as we provide tips for submitting a strong entry to the competition.

Writing tips

Focus on clarity and coherence

When writing your essay, it is essential to focus on clarity and coherence. You want to ensure that your ideas are expressed clearly and that there is a logical flow to your essay.

a woman thinking and holding a pen and notebook

Start by outlining your essay and organizing your thoughts. This will help you to stay on track and ensure that you are addressing the theme of the contest. Use simple language and avoid jargon or overly complex sentences. Your essay should be easy to understand and engage the reader.

Use vivid language and concrete examples

To make your essay stand out, use vivid language and concrete examples. Instead of telling the reader about a concept, show them a specific example.

For example, instead of saying, “Democracy is important,” you could say, “In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote, which ensures that everyone’s voice is heard.” Using specific examples and anecdotes will help to make your essay more engaging and memorable.

Edit and revise for conciseness and impact

Once you have written your essay, it is essential to edit and revise it carefully. You want to ensure that your essay is concise and has a strong impact on the reader. Remove any unnecessary words or sentences that do not add value to your essay.

Ensure that your writing is free of spelling and grammatical errors. It is a good idea to have someone else read your essay and provide feedback. This will help you identify any areas that may need improvement and ensure that your essay is the best it can be.

Presentation Tips

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Voice of Democracy Contest is an annual nationwide competition that awards scholarships to high school students for writing and recording an essay on a patriotic theme.

The contest does not only offer an opportunity to showcase the students’ writing skills but also their ability to deliver a compelling oral presentation.

Here, we will discuss some tips for students who want to submit a strong entry to the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest, with a focus on presentation tips.

Effective Oral Delivery

The oral delivery is a crucial component of the Voice of Democracy Contest, as it allows the students to bring their essays to life and connect with the audience. Here are some tips for delivering an effective oral presentation:

  • Speak clearly and loudly: Ensure that you speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the room. Avoid mumbling or speaking too quickly, as it can make it difficult for the audience to understand what you are saying.
  • Use pauses effectively: Pausing between sentences or ideas can help to emphasize key points and allow the audience to absorb the information. Don’t rush through your presentation; take your time and use pauses effectively.
  • Maintain eye contact: Maintaining eye contact with the audience can help you to connect with them and keep their attention focused on you. Avoid reading from a script or looking down at your notes too often.
  • Use gestures: Gestures can help to emphasize points and make your presentation more engaging. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too many gestures can be distracting.
  • Use vocal variation: Varying your tone and volume can help to keep the audience engaged and make your presentation more interesting. Use emphasis and inflection to highlight important points and create a sense of drama or excitement.

Practice and Confidence

Practice and confidence are essential for delivering a strong presentation. Here are some tips for preparing for the Voice of Democracy Contest:

  • Practice your presentation: Practice your presentation multiple times to ensure that you are comfortable with the material and can deliver it smoothly. Consider recording yourself and watching the video to identify areas for improvement.
  • Time your presentation: The competition has a strict time limit, so it’s important to time your presentation and make sure it fits within the allotted time. Practice speaking at a consistent pace to avoid running out of time or speaking too quickly.
  • Get feedback: Ask friends, family, or teachers to listen to your presentation and provide feedback. Consider their suggestions and make changes as necessary to improve your presentation.
  • Build confidence: Building confidence can help you to deliver a more engaging and persuasive presentation. Practice deep breathing exercises or visualization techniques to help calm your nerves and boost your confidence.

What sets VFW Voice of Democracy Contest participants apart from other college applicants?

What sets VFW Voice of Democracy Contest participants apart from other college applicants? This is a national competition that awards scholarships to high school students who have written and recorded an essay on a patriotic theme.

While many students apply to various college scholarship programs, several unique characteristics set Voice of Democracy Contest participants apart from other college applicants.

Demonstrated Commitment to Civic Responsibility

The Voice of Democracy Contest encourages students to think critically about the role of civic responsibility in society. Participants must demonstrate a deep understanding of the importance of being engaged and responsible citizens.

By participating in this contest, students are taking a proactive step toward demonstrating their commitment to civic responsibility. This dedication sets them apart from other applicants, who may not have taken similar steps toward promoting civic engagement.

Strong Communication and Leadership Skills

The Voice of Democracy Contest requires students to not only write an essay on a patriotic theme but also deliver a compelling oral presentation. This process helps students develop and demonstrate strong communication and leadership skills.

The ability to communicate effectively and persuasively is a highly sought-after skill in the college and career worlds. By participating in this contest, students are honing their skills in these areas and setting themselves apart from other applicants who may not have had similar opportunities.

Unique Experiences and Perspectives

Every student brings their unique experiences and perspectives to the table when participating in the Voice of Democracy Contest. This diversity of thought and background can be highly valuable in a college or career setting.

By participating in the contest, students can share their unique experiences and perspectives with others. This can help them stand out from other applicants who may not have had the same opportunities to share their stories and perspectives.

Potential for Scholarships and Recognition

One of the most significant benefits of participating in the Voice of Democracy Contest is the potential for scholarships and recognition. The contest awards scholarships to winners at the local, state, and national levels.

Winning this contest can be a significant accomplishment for students, demonstrating their commitment to civic responsibility, strong communication and leadership skills, and unique experiences and perspectives.

This recognition can set them apart from other applicants and help them to stand out in the college and career world.

By participating in this contest, students are taking a proactive step towards their personal and professional development, setting themselves apart from other applicants, and demonstrating their dedication to making a positive impact on society.

Winning the VFW Voice of Democracy Contest can give students an edge in their college applications.

The admissions committee looks for well-rounded candidates who have excelled in various areas, including academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and community involvement.

Participating in and winning a prestigious competition like this can demonstrate a student’s dedication, perseverance, and leadership skills. It can also showcase their ability to communicate effectively, which is a highly valued skill in college and beyond.

If you are a student interested in applying to colleges and universities, it is essential to have a competitive edge that can set you apart from other applicants.

Here at AdmissionSight, we provide personalized guidance and coaching to help students like you navigate the complex college application process.

By booking a consultation with us, you can receive expert advice on maximizing your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.

So, wait no longer! Book your initial consultation today!

Search

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.