Established in 1947, our 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 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 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-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirementsand download the entry form before you submit your entry at your local VFW Post.

2018-19 Theme | Why My Vote Matters



South Dakota's 2018 winner was Olivia Heinecke.  Listen to her speech here.

VFW Post 17 | Local Winners:

First: Keilly Gunther, Aberdeen Central High School

Second: Kara Vetch, Aberdeen Central High School

Third: Hope Mehlhoff Schaar, Leola High

Please visit again soon for more information on future VOD themes and news.