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Youth Scholarships & Awards

The 2023-24 theme is: 
 "How Are You Inspired by America?"

Each year, nearly 68,800 students in sixth through eighth grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000! 

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. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements, and find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31. Download and complete the 2023-2024 entry form here[VFW Post 10427 information found below.]

Leighton Peters

About the 2022-2023 winner ...

Leighton Peters, a seventh grade student from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was named the 2022-2023 Patriot's Pen first place winner. Her essay on the theme, "My Pledge to Our Veterans" won her a $5,000 award. Leighton was sponsored by VFW Post 2204 and its Auxiliary in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Watch as Leighton delivered her winning essay, during the VFW's Parade of Winners streamed live on Facebook, or read her essay here. See the complete list of 2023 national winners.

2022-23 Patriots Pen Winner.png

The 2023-24 theme is: 
"What Are the Greatest Attributes of Our 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 25,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $1.3 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-$21,000, and the first place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins at least a scholarship of $1,000. Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements, and find your sponsoring local VFW Post as applications must be turned in by midnight, Oct. 31. Download and complete the 2023-24 Voice of Democracy entry form here[VFW Post 10427 information found below.]

Scotland Stewart

About the 2022-2023 winner ...

Scotland Stewart, a sophomore at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee,, was named the 2022-2023 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Scotland’s speech on the theme, "Why is the Veteran Important?" won him a $35,000 college scholarship. Scotland was sponsored by VFW Post 1893 in Estill Springs, Tennessee. Watch as Scotland delivered his speech during the VFW's Parade of Winners award ceremony or read it here.

Want to catch up on everything that happened this year? You can watch the full Parade of Winners ceremony which was streamed live on Facebook, or see this year's complete list of winners.

2022_23 VOD Winner.jpg

Teacher of the Year

Smart/Maher
VFW National
Citizenship Education Teacher Award

Grades K-12

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.

Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects elementary, middle, and high school teachers to participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program.

Please review the new rules and eligibility requirements and complete the 2023 entry form and brochure to nominate a teacher you know. Teacher nomination entries must be received at a local participating VFW Post by the Oct. 31 deadline. [VFW Post 10427 information found below.]

Scout of the Year

Some of our earliest ties to the community involve youth groups and perhaps none are stronger or more lasting than the relationship between the VFW and America's scouting organizations. In fact, our partnership with the Boy Scouts of America dates back to 1915 when VFW Post 2100 helped to establish Troop 1 in Everett, Washington.

Our Scout of the Year program provides members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to be recognized for their standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country. 

Before submitting your Scout of the Year application, please review the rules and eligibility requirements. Please download the VFW Scout of the Year brochure and entry form to submit at your local VFW Post. [VFW Post 10427 information found below.]

LOCAL VFW ENTRY FORM INFORMATION


Robert John Lehman Post
VFW Post 10427
8760 RR 2243
Leander, TX 78641
(512) 260-8313
or
VFW Post 10427
P.O. Box 648
Leander, TX 78641

LOCAL VFW ENTRY FORM INFORMATION


Robert John Lehman Post
VFW Post 10427
8760 RR 2243
Leander, TX 78641
(512) 260-8313
or
VFW Post 10427
P.O. Box 648
Leander, TX 78641

VFW Entry Form Info
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