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Lifestyle

VFW kicks off annual $30,000 scholarship competition

Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Jeffrey Hastings recently kicked off this year’s VFW’s Voice of Democracy Scholarship competition. Illinois high school students have the opportunity to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships and a trip to Washington, D.C.

Students must write and record a three-to-five minute essay on the selected theme using an audio CD or flash drive and present their recording, typed essay and completed entry form to their local VFW Post by Oct. 31. The 2017-18 theme selected is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” Students begin by competing at the local Post level, then Post winners compete at the District level with the winner advancing to the state competition.

All state first-place winners receive a four-day trip to Washington, D.C., and the chance to compete for their share of more than $150,000 in scholarships. The first-place winner receives a $30,000 college scholarship.

The National Association of Broadcasters started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961.

The competition was created to provide students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. About 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2.1 million in educational scholarships every year.

Interested students and teachers should contact the Voice of Democracy chairman at their local VFW post or contact the Illinois State Voice of Democracy Director Robert McLeod at 708-363-7462 or rock76@yahoo.com for more information.

For details about the competition, visit www.vfw.org/VOD.

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