Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $54,500, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level.
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. Want to apply?
VOICE OF DEMOCRACY
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?
SMART/MAHER VFW NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION TEACHER AWARD
Without our nation’s veterans, America wouldn't be the great nation it is today. Our youth deserve to learn about our rich history, traditions and the role of our veterans in creating and shaping America.
The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics — for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment — can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Winners receive:
A $1,000 award for professional development expenses.
A $1,000 award for his/her school.
Two award plaques: one for the teacher, the other for his/her school.
An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference to receive their award.
VFW SCOUT OF THE YEAR
The Scout of the Year program is open to Eagle Scouts, Girl Scout Gold Award, Venture Summit Award recipients and Sea
Scout Quartermaster recipients. VFW’s Scout of the Year offers a first place $5,000 scholarship, a second place $3,000 scholarship and a $1,000 third place scholarship each year. The VFW has a long relationship with Scouting.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
At Hafa Adai VFW Post 1509, we are dedicated to helping our Veterans and their families achieve the education goals they are after. Education is by no means an easy feat, but through cooperation and community empowerment we believe we can facilitate progress in this area. Click to learn more about our scholarship opportunities.