2016-2017 National Scholarships Ambassador
Patriotic Art Contest Deadline and Voice of Democracy Recap
VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest Deadline is in Less than Two Weeks!
Each year, more than 3,500 high school students from across the country participate in the VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The scholarship contest began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth. Deadlines are approaching fast!
- March 31: Student Entry Deadline to Local VFW Auxiliary.
- April 10: Local VFW Auxiliary and District Judging Complete.
- April 15: Local VFW Auxiliary and District Winners to Department (state) for Judging.
- May 5: VFW Auxiliary Department (state) Winners to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters.
- First Place: $10,000 scholarship
- Second Place: $5,000 scholarship
- Third Place: $2,500 scholarship
- Fourth Place: $1,500 scholarship
- Fifth through Eighth Place: $500 scholarship
Note: Only the first-place Department winner is eligible for the national competition. The Department winners will be judged at the 2017 National Convention in New Orleans!
Voice of Democracy/Patriot’s Pen Recap
As the VFW Auxiliary National Scholarships Ambassador I had the honor of being one of the chaperones for 53 Voice of Democracy Department student winners during their trip to Washington, D.C. late last month. It was a week full of adventure, education, excitement and anticipation for the students of possibly being selected as the winner of a $30,000 scholarship.
We stayed in Arlington, Virginia, and had the opportunity to participate in numerous activities and visited many historical sites such as:
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- International Spy Museum
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- S. Capitol
- The Pentagon Memorial
- Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial)
- Arlington National Cemetery
- We witnessed the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns
- We had the opportunity to visit sites such as the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s gravesites.
- National Museum of the Marine Corps
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- National World War II Memorial
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial (we saw this on a nighttime bus tour!)
All of the students were fun, smart, well-behaved and in a nutshell – amazing! It was an honor to spend time with them and is reassuring to know that America is in good hands with these young people leading the way.
Prior to the Parade of Winners, each student was paired up with their Department Commander and President for parade. The Parade of Winners is where all National Voice of Democracy Scholarship winners were announced and the first-place winner delivered her essay in person.
Congratulations to 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 Responsibility to 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 and Auxiliary 12118 in Copperopolis, California.
Also announced at the event was the 2016-2017 Patriot’s Pen first-place winner. Congratulations to Lindi Compton, an eighth-grade student, whose essay on the theme, “The America I Believe In,” won her a $5,000 award. Lindi was sponsored by VFW Post and Auxiliary 5813 in Greensburg, Kentucky. She is an amazing and inspiring teenager and I am positive we will hear more from her in the future.
A HUGE ‘thank you’ to all of America’s teachers, parents and youth leaders for the time, effort and commitment you invest in our young people each year. You are appreciated!