The Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars premier scholarship program since 1947. 9th through 12th grade students compete for more than $2.1 million in college scholarships and awards by writing and recording a broadcast script on a patriotic theme.   

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from Colorado wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet and other state first place winners in the national competition.

The all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. includes four fun-filled days of tours, visits to monuments, meeting with heads of state and often the President or Vice President of the United States. The National Judging is held in Washington, D.C. prior to the students' arrival and the winners are announced at a special reception in their honor. In June, each state winner is invited to the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Freedom and Leadership Youth Conference. The three-day conference allows participating students the opportunity to converse with experts on current issues of citizenship, tour the Philadelphia and Valley Forge historic sites and participate in seminars designed to develop leadership skills and understand the value of community service. The foundations of American democracy and the elements of the free enterprise system will also be explored through thought provoking lectures and workshops.


Who can enter?

The competition is open to students in grades 9-12, who are enrolled in a public, private, parochial high school or a home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or in an overseas U.S. military/civilian dependent school.  Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over and previous Voice of Democracy first place state winners are ineligible.



What do students need to enter?

Students should record their reading of the draft to an audio CD or flash drive. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes (plus or minus five seconds).

Entries begin at the Post level. Once the student creates their essay and completes burning the audio version to an audio CD/flash drive, they can submit their typed version, CD/flash drive and the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post by the October 31st deadline.

The 2017 - 2018 theme

American History: Our Hope for the Future 


What is the entry deadline?

All entries must be in the hands of VFW Post 3917 by close of business, October 31st 2017.


We are located at:

4715 Clearview Drive

Colorado Springs, CO 80911


Our mailing address is:

Cheyenne Mountain VFW Post 3917

P.O. Box 5355

Colorado Springs, CO 80931


Link to the VFW Colorado State Program website


Link to the VFW National HQ Program Website

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