Winners of annual VFW Post 8870 essay contests honored
At its Jan. 17 meeting, Edmonds VFW Post 8870 recognized students who were 2017 winners of VFW’s three annual essay contests.
All winners received framed certificates and cash prizes of $100 for first place and $50 for the runners-up.
The theme for this year’s elementary school contest was “What Does a Veteran Mean to Me?” The contest was open to all public, private, and home-schooled elementary school students in the Edmonds and Mukilteo school districts in grades 3, 4, and 5. Winners advanced to district competition, culminating at the state level.
There was no 3rd grade winner this year and the 4th and 5th grader contests were a clean sweep for Brier Elementary School. This year’s winning essay for 4th grade was submitted by Brier’s Sara Ambachew and the runner-up was Brianna Reyes. At the 5th grade level the winner was Cole Harris and the runner-up was Nikolas Lopez.
For middle school students in the two districts, the contest is called Patriot’s Pen and it culminates at the national level. It is open to all middle school students in grades 6, 7, and 8 and the theme for this year’s contest was “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The winning entry was submitted by Mohuwa Wahid, a student at Mukilteo’s Explorer Middle School.
Edmonds-Woodway High School senior Olivia Olson once again took first-place honors in both the local and district Voice of Democracy contest. While two contests for younger students requires a written essay, the Voice of Democracy is an oral competition requiring the submission of an audio recording. This year’s topic was “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” You can see her complete essay below. Lara Wahid of Kamiak High School was runner-up.
In addition, Olivia Olson received a special honor during the Jan. 17 meeting: She was presented with a portrait of herself, drawn by Edmonds artist Michael Reagan, Vietnam-era Marine and war veteran and world-renowned portrait artist living in Edmonds. You can see more details in a related story here.
According to Olivia’s mother Vivian Olson, who attended the presentation, “Michael credited Olivia with having had words that matter, caring, passion and meaningful involvement with the veteran community during the years he has known her, having met her at a similar post meeting when she won her first contest six years ago.”
“I am unbelievably grateful and overwhelmed,” Olivia Olson said of the presentation and gift.
VFW Essay Contest Winners Awarded
BARNEGAT – At a recent Barnegat Township Committee meeting, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars presented the winners of the youth essay contests, The Patriot’s Pen and The Voice of Democracy.
The two essay contests, sponsored by the VFW, are conducted nationwide and are meant to provide students with an opportunity to express their views on a specific patriotic theme, according to The Patriot’s Pen website. The Patriot’s Pen contest was open to Barnegat’s middle school students, grades 6-8. The Voice of Democracy was open to Barnegat High School juniors and seniors.
“The programs are well-noted and well known in the district,” said veteran Jake Taylor during the committee meeting.
This year’s theme for the young writers of The Patriot’s Pen was “America’s Gift to My Generation.” For The Voice of Democracy, students wrote about “Our Hope for the Future.” The winners of each essay contest are as follows:
First Place – Emma J. Carman
Second Place – Lexy McGinnis
Third Place – John Panico
First Place – Justin M. Bach
Second Place – Brigid M. Harrington
Third Place – Anthony Forte
Each of the winners received a gift certificate for $100 and special dog tag with their name and the year engraved on it. First place winners, Emma J. Carman and Justin M. Bach, stood before the committee and attendees of the meeting to read aloud their prize-winning essays.
Taylor noted that the educators of the Barnegat schools have been doing a great job with the students, like Carman and Bach, and praised the students for their wonderful writing.
“The students should be aware of what our veterans do,” said Board of Education President Scott Sarno at the meeting.
VFW Announces Voice of Democracy Essay Contest Winners
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6917 recently announced that Centennial High School Senior Jazmin Collins was named the winner of the post’s annual 2017-18 Voice of Democracy audio essay contest. In addition, Mayfield High School Sophomore Mireya Sanchez-Maes earned second place, followed by Oñate High School Senior Izabell Homer who earned third place.
CHS Senior Jazmin Collins
The Voice of Democracy audio-essay completion is a national competition which awards scholarships to high school students based on an original, three-to-five minute audio-essay about an annual theme. This year’s theme was: “American History: Our Hope for the Future.”
MHS Sophomore Mireya Sanchez-Maes
Winning essays are selected at the local and national level based on: originality, content and delivery, according to the VFW website. The competition was open to all open to ninth- through 12th-grade students who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the U.S.
OHS Senior Izabell Homer
As the post winner, Collins will now go on to compete at the state level for the chance to compete for the national prize.
The national first-place winner will receive 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 each state will be awarded a minimum of $1,000 in scholarships and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
According to the VFW website, each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of $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 high school students with the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.
VFW Post 6917 is located at 5845 Bataan Memorial West, Las Cruces, with Commander Raul Sanchez in command. Post meetings are 2 nd Thursday at 7:00 PM (575) 382-9703
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Voice of Democracy Essay Contest
VFW Oklahoma is proud to offer the VOICE OF DEMOCRACY essay contest!
Each year, nearly 38,000 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 American 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 a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Savannah Wittman, a senior at Bret Harte High School, was named the 2016-17 Voice of Democracy first-place winner. Savannah’s speech on the theme, “My Vision for America,” won her a $30,000 college scholarship which she plans to apply toward her career in veterinary medicine. Savannah was sponsored by VFW Post 12118 and its Auxiliary in Copperopolis, Calif.
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
Ask your teacher if your school is participating. You can still enter if they are or not. If you experience problems with downloading or printing the application, please try to access the entry form using Internet Explorer. If you continue to experience problems, please contact your local Post.
Mail your completed application and recorded speech to your local VFW Post
The 2017-18 theme is:
American History: Our Hope for the Future
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 November 1 deadline.
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.
Scholarships: Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen
2015-2016 National Scholarships Ambassador
Scholarships: Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen
What an exciting year we have ahead of us! We have four Scholarship contests to promote. The first two being the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Contests with the entry deadline to the local VFW Post on Sunday, November 1. It’s time to spread the word to as many people as possible regarding the information for of these both competitions. This year’s theme for the grades 9-12 Voice of Democracy Audio Essay is “My Vision for America” and for the grades 6-8 Patriot’s Pen Essay, the theme is “What Freedom Means to Me.”
Many of you have asked why the Auxiliary isn’t included in the judging process for Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests. Please be aware these are VFW-sponsored contests and the Auxiliary assists the Posts with these scholarship contests.
Please be sure you understand the rules for each scholarship contest before you speak with teachers, students and/or parents about the contests.
Community Awareness of our scholarship contests is again one of our goals this year. We need to let the community know what great financial opportunities we provide for talented students. Some ways to achieve this are:
- Place a free advertisement/press release in your local newspaper describing the elements of each contest – including the award amounts of each scholarship and who to contact at your local Post and/or Auxiliary. Click here for a sample press release forVoice of Democracy and click here for a sample release for Patriot’s Pen.
- Place posters in local stores, restaurants, libraries, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, etc., with permission. Posters for both programs can be purchased from the VFW Store. Voice of Democracy Posters: http://www.vfwstore.org/products/22915 and Patriot’s Pen Posters: http://vfwstore.org/products/28509
- Don’t forget about social media to reach students and their parents! Facebook, Twitter, and Post/Auxiliary websites at the local, District and Department levels are excellent places to post information about our contests.
A sample Facebook post for Voice of Democracy could read:
Do you know a student in grades 9-12 who could use up to $30,000 for college? Encourage them to enter the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. 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 national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship and other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each state wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. This year’s theme is “My Vision for America.” Entries can be submitted to VFW Post (enter your post and contact info) no later than midnight on November 1, 2015. Click here for more information: http://www.vfw.org/VOD/
Each year more than 125,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $50,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March. This year’s theme is “What Freedom Means to Me.” Entries can be submitted to VFW Post (enter your post and contact info) no later than midnight on November 1, 2015. Click here for more information: http://www.vfw.org/PatriotsPen/
If we work on our Community Awareness Goal, we will achieve our Student Participation Goal. I’m looking to see an increase in participation this year because of the excitement you create promoting these scholarship opportunities.
VFW post honors essay contest winners
TIVERTON – The Tiverton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5392 honored the following students for their participation in this year’s 2017-2018 Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest.
Third place winner was Samantha Bettencourt, second place was Jaqueline Delcourt, and receiving first place was Jason Potvin.
This year’s essay theme, chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief, was “America’s Gift to My Generation.” All of the students were encouraged to express their views, in writing, focusing on American history, their own patriotic experiences in modern American society, and what they felt was America’s gift to their generation. In addition to a monetary award and citation, all three essays are submitted to the VFW’s District 2, where they compete with other Posts in hopes of “placing” before moving on to the state level with the potential to represent Rhode Island, at the national level in Washington, D.C.
At a December award ceremony held at Post 5392, Junior Vice Commander Todd Davis made a surprising announcement to all in attendance: “I am pleased to inform you that Jason Potvin, our first-place winner has also won the first-place award for our District, and will now go on to the state level where he’ll compete with other student’s from around the state.”
The Post would also like to recognize Christine Costa, again, for supporting a program that rewards students for their talents. Costa has also been nominated for this years’ Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, which recognizes exceptional teachers for their Americanism and patriotism to their students. The results of this year’s entries won’t be known until the VFW State Convention, which takes place in June.
Whether it’s a high school or middle school student, the Voice of Democracy or Patriot’s Pen scholarships can be another way to assist our youth in getting a financial head-start in their academic future. Monetary awards can range from $100 locally to $30,000 nationally.
Post 9934 & VFW Auxiliary
Dana Point, California
Patriot’s Pen 2017 – 2018
Lindi Compton, an eighth-grade student, was named the 2016-17 Patriot’s Pen first-place winner. Her essay on the theme, “The America I Believe In,” won her a $5,000 award. Lindi was sponsored by VFW Post 5813 and its Auxiliary in Greensburg, Ky.
Each year more than 125,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $50,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.
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.
WHO CAN ENTER: The Patriot’s Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
VFW Post 9934 serves the area of Dana Point, California, and nearby communities. In this area, Contact VFW Post 9934 for additional assistance and a copy of the entry form.
Telephone: (949) 248-1419
For areas outside Dana Point, California, contact the local VFW Post. To locate a Post, go to http://www.vfw.org/find-a-post.
The 2018-19 theme is: Why I Honor the American Flag
Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Then students can contact VFW Post 9934 and establish a contact person who is a member of that Post or Auxiliary.
Deadline — The completed essay and entry form must be in the hands of the VFW Post Chairman by midnight October 31, 2018.
Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points. You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.
Theme development is worth 35 points. Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.
Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points. Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.
- Essay length: 300-400 typewritten words.
- You must write your own essay.
- All essays should be typewritten in English with no color or graphics and cannot be less than 300 words or greater than 400 words in length. (Essays under or over these word amounts will be eliminated.) Every word is counted regardless of length. The essay title (theme) or added footnotes do not contribute to the word count.
In no way may contestants identify themselves in their essay. Do not put your name on your essay. The entry form is your essay’s cover sheet. Secure the Official Student Entry Form with a staple or other fastener on top of your essay. Essays must be written exclusively for this competition. Use of the same essay for other competitions will result in disqualification. Contestants are allowed to enter only once (one Post competition). Contestants found in violation of this rule will face elimination from the competition and will be required to return any and all prize money awarded or received.
The essay must be a contestant’s original work and a product of the contestant’s own thinking. The approach to the Patriot’s Pen theme should be positive and clearly focused. Poetry is not acceptable. Quotations may be used sparingly if plainly identified wherever used. A contestant’s teacher, counselor or parent may check the essay for punctuation, grammar and/or spelling, but the content must remain the contestant’s. Contestants will be judged on the basis of their essay alone and are not required to present the essay orally. All essays become the property of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW retains non-exclusive rights to use your essay and likeness in the promotion and execution of the organization’s programs and activities.
Contests & Scholarships
Just as we work hard to serve and support veterans, service personnel and military families, the VFW sponsors many programs that recognize excellence among youth, students, adults, employers, healthcare personnel and safety professionals who make a difference in their communities. Entries must be submitted by a local VFW Posts that participate in these programs.
- Barger Nursing Scholarships – The Department awards six $1,000 scholarships to nursing students who are veterans or related to veterans. Applications are processed through the PA State Nurses Association, and winners are chosen randomly by VFW and PSNA representatives. Posts are encouraged to make donations of any size, and/or to participate in the Annual Barger Scholarship Golf Tournament, to help make this fund self-sustaining. For more information contact State HQs at (717) 234-7927. For more information and to learn how to support the tournament click here.
- Citizenship Education:Contests– Teachers of the Year* – Each year, we honor a teacher in the elementary, junior high and senior high school categories for their efforts to teach students about being responsible citizens, about appreciation the freedoms that they have and about the role that veterans have played in keeping America free. In addition, the PA VFW and its Auxiliary hold a coloring contest each year for grades 2-5 to help young students develop patriotism; one winner per grade. Judging is held in April and entries should be sent to the Program Chairman by March 1st. Earlier deadlines apply for submitting entries at the local level. Contact State HQs (717 234-7927) to receive the Chairman’s information. Coloring Contest page.
- Eagle Scout Award* – One Eagle Scout is presented with the PA VFW Eagle Scout of the Year Award. Entries must be submitted through a local VFW Post, which forwards it to the State Youth Activities Chairman (see “About Us”, “Leadership” section). More info or contact VFW State Headquarters at (717) 234-7927.
- Employer Awards – The Department presents an award to employers (three size categories) who excel in hiring veterans, plus one individual is honored for helping veterans to prepare for employment. For information contact State HQ at (717) 234-7927.
- Geiger Scholarship – This annual scholarship is awarded to a high school student advancing to secondary education (must be related to a veteran). For information contact State HQ at (717) 234-7927.
- Healthcare Awards – The Department presents three healthcare awards annually. Details and submission requirements
- Loyalty Day – On May 1, the VFW leads ceremonies to recognize Loyalty to America Day when all citizens are encouraged to reflect on the freedoms they have, to support democracy and to honor those who protect America. Loyalty Day began as “Americanization Day” in 1921 to counter the Communists’ May 1 celebration of the Russian Revolution. The PA VFW and its Auxiliary hold contests every year to encourage members and students to celebrate Loyalty Day. The contest is for any member of the VFW, its Auxiliary and Junior girls. Essays must contain 200-300 words about the theme and are due no later than March 1 to the Program Chairman. First place prize in two categories (active VFW/Auxiliary and Jr. Girls) is a plaque and $100.
- Patriot’s Pen (Jr. High Speech Contest)* – Students from grades 6-8 enter to win a cash prize by writing a speech on a patriotic theme. The Department winner will attend a banquet for VFW student scholarships in January and present the winning essay. Contest Announcement. Perpetual Scholarship Fund Donation Form. For more info contact VFW State Headquarters at (717) 234-7927.
- ROTC Leadership Awards – The Department presents certificates and medals to leaders of high school ROTC units. To request VFW certificates and/or medals contact State HQs, (717) 234-7927.
- Public Safety Awards* – Recognition is given each year to one firefighter, police officer and EMS responder. All nominations must be made through a Pennsylvania VFW Post. Post Commanders: to nominate someone please use the forms found on this web site … “Post/District Tools” section, then “Forms & Facts”, then “Post Info” and scroll down to Safety Award Nominations or contact VFW State Headquarters at (717) 234-7927
- Voice of Democracy (High School Essay Contest)*– Invites students grades 9-12 to express themselves about democratic ideas and principles. The District winners will attend a banquet for VFW student scholarships in January where the top five essays are recognized and monetary prizes are awarded. The first-place student will present the winning essay and will receive a free trip to Washington, D.C. to join the other state winners for special activities.
* Winners of the programs marked with an asterisk advance to the National VFW competition to represent our Department.
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VFW Patriot’s Pen essay contest closes Oct. 31
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The Patriot’s Pen Essay Writing Contest is hosted annually by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students. Home-schooled students also are eligible.
The contest is conducted nationwide. This VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, “America’s Gift to My Generation.”
Essays must be no less than 300 words and cannot exceed 400 words.
Submit essays to the VFW Tower Post 10692, along with the completed Patriot’s Pen entry form, no later than the Oct. 31, 2017. The VFW is located at Tower Barracks, Bldg. 505, across from the garrison headquarters building.
Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition, according to the VFW rules and eligibility requirements.
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VFW Post – Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest
January 26, 2018
Students from Southern Middle School submitted their works for the VFW Post #712 Auxiliary’s Patriot’s Pen Writing Contest. The students were asked to write about the theme “America’s Gift to My Generation”. Bea Angela Ricafort, 7th grader, won first place for her essay winning a $250 scholarship, Elena Martin, 7th grader, won second place for her essay winning a $150 scholarship, and Evan Martin, 7th grader, won third place for his essay winning a $150 scholarship. The students have been invited to accept their award sat the VFW District Awards Banquet being held February 24, 2018 .