LOS LUNAS—Daniel D. Fernandez VFW Post 9676 is now accepting entries for its National 2023-2024 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions.
The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generations. The Los Lunas post is inviting high school students, grades 9-12, middle school students, grades 7-8, and elementary school students, grade 6, to compete for more than $3 million in scholarships and educational incentive awards.
The first competition is known as the Voice of Democracy (VOD) Patriotic Audio Essay Competition for students in grades 9-12. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year the VOD theme is “What are the greatest attributes of our democracy?”
The VFW will award $171,000 in VOD scholarships at its national convention with the top scholarship this year being $35,000. VOD Audio Essay competitors can be awarded prizes and scholarships at the post, district and state levels prior to the convention.
All state VOD winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to tour the city, be honored by the VFW and its auxiliary and receive their portion of the $171,000 in scholarships awarded at the convention.
All national-qualified VOD competitors will receive at least a $1,000 scholarship with the first-place winner receiving a $35,000 scholarship. Last year, a Los Lunas High School junior, Nathan Davis, placed second in the New Mexico Department VOD competition. The winner of the NM Department 2022-2023 VOD Competition was Arwen Ching, whom, at no cost to her, was flown to Washington, D.C., to compete for the top national scholarships.
The Patriot’s Pen competition is for students in grades 6-8, and this year the Patriot’s Pen theme is “How are you inspired by America?”
Like the VOD Audio Essay Competition, Patriot’s Pen competitors can receive prizes and scholarships at the post, district and state levels. Department Patriot’s Pen winners will receive a portion of the $55,000 in national scholarship awards. All national-qualified Patriot’s Pen competitors will receive at least $500, with the first-place winner receiving a $5,000 scholarship.
The process for submitting entry applications for the VOD Audio Essay and Patriot’s Pen Written Essay competitions has been made much easier this year.
Below are two URL links that will take students directly to an on-line computer application created by Scholar’s App that will allow them to complete all the necessary application documents electronically.
VOD competitors will be able to upload their audio entries or for Patriot’s Pen written essay competitors will allow them to upload their written essays using their phones or computers.
The Voice of Democracy URL link is: scholarsapp.com/scholarship/vfw-voice-of-democracy-new-mexico-district-2-post-9676
The Patriot’s Pen Student URL link is: scholarsapp.com/scholarship/vfw-patriot-s-pen-new-mexico-district-2-post-9676
The deadline for both competitions is Tuesday, Oct. 31. Students can learn more about both these VFW scholarship opportunities by visiting the Daniel D. Fernandez, VFW Post 9676 website at vfw9676.org. If you have any questions contact committee co-chairman John Tull at 505-249-6104 or Jack Lovato at 505-550-4076.
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