• 30°

VFW youth scholarship opportunities available

Local students could have the opportunity to earn college scholarships through their love of patriotism and democracy.

VFW Post 8902 Quartermaster and Adjutant Garland Hamlett, Jr. said he presented the information at the August School Board meeting to inform of the opportunity.

He said there are three programs available for those interested, including the Voice of Democracy audio-essay contest.

According to information from the VFW website, the Voice of Democracy audio-essay program is open to high school students with the possibility of winning a $30,000 scholarship.

“Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provided high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic- themed recorded essay,” said the website.

Additionally, the VFW said 40,000 students across the country in grades 9-12 compete during the program to win a portion of the $2.1 million educational scholarships through the program.

The national first place winner in the contest would receive a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipients American school. However, state winners would receive a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The theme for the audio-essay is Why My Vote Matters, according to the VFW.

Hamlett said the next available contest is the Patriot’s Pen contest.

According to the VFW website, the Patriot’s Pen contest is open to grades 6-8 and the national first place winner will have the opportunity to win $5,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C.

First place winners at the state level will compete for $55,000 in national awards, with each state winner receiving at least $500.

“The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander- in-Chief,” said the website.

The theme for 2018- 19 is “Why I honor the American Flag.”

Hamlett said the contests also offer a Teacher of the year category.

The teacher of the year is typically awarded $1,000 for his/her school and $1,000 for professional development among other opportunities.

Entries may be submitted to local VFW Post 8902 at Garland Hamett, Quartermaster/ Adjutant, Post 8902, P.O. Box 363, Drakes Branch, VA 23937.

For more information and to see a complete list of rules and requirements, visit https://www. vfw.org/community/ youth-and-education/ youth-scholarships.