Youth Scholarships

In 1965 the Ladies Auxiliary (now just called the Auxiliary) began to cosponsor the Voice of Democracy Audio/Essay Contest, which was adopted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1961.

The purpose of this program is to encourage high school students to compete for National Scholarships by writing essays on a patriotic theme and recording their spoken essays.

The Patriot's Pen contest is open to middle school-age students and is an essay on a patriotic theme.

The Youth Essay is only offered in the state of Washington and is for elementary school-age students grades 3 through 5 and is an essay on a patriotic team.

The Patriot’s Pen and Youth Essay is used to prepare and encourage the students to compete in the Voice of Democracy.

  • Scholarship Deadlines:
  • Voice of Democracy-November 1
  • Patriots' Pen Youth Essay-November 1
  • Scouting Scholarship-March 1

Every year, hundreds of thousands of students participate in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition and the Patriot's Pen Essay Contest, garnering more than $3.4 million in scholarships and incentives.

In addition, the VFW honors an outstanding scout through the VFW Scout of the Year Scholarship program.

Besides the VFW's outstanding scholarship programs, Posts and Auxiliaries across the nation work with youth in scouting, sports, ROTC and military cadet programs. By providing leaders, funding, sponsorships and other resources, the VFW and its Auxiliaries encourage millions of America's young adults to higher ideals and greater personal achievement.