The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is accepting entries for its 2018-19 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. Students will compete for their share of $3 million in scholarships and awards.

The 2018 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., recognized the top students for 2017-18 in early March.

Locally, District 9 2017-18 winners were:

Voice of Democracy: first, Alexi Knight, Paris; second, Lucas Duncan, Lewiston; and third, Shespya DeJesus, Lewiston.

Patriot’s Pen: first, Emma Bunyea, Oxford; second, Izabella Martin, Minot; third, Emma Moreau, Poland.

The six students were honored at a banquet in Jay. The two first-place winners also competed at the state level and were honored at a banquet in Bangor.

Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competition programs also foster friendly competition as well as reward success in the form of $3 million in scholarship monies being distributed.

The Voice of Democracy theme for 2018-19 asks high school students to reflect on “Why My Vote Matters.” The audio-essay competition is open to all students in grades nine to 12, with the top prize being a $30,000 scholarship award.

Nearly 40,000 high school students competed in the annual competition. This year’s winner was Robyn Anzulis, sponsored by VFW Post 10076 and Auxiliary in Mt. Airy, Maryland.

The Patriot’s Pen essay competition is open to all students in grades six to eight, and the 2018-19 competition asks students to examine the statement, “Why I Honor the American Flag.” The first-place winner will receive a $5,000 award.

More than 132,000 students competed in this year’s Patriot’s Pen competition, with the first-place winner being Karolina Mazur, sponsored by VFW Post 521 and Auxiliary in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Student entries for 2018-19 may be submitted, along with a completed entry form, to their local participating VFW Post. The deadline for both contests is Oct. 31, 2018.

Alexis Knight is pictured with District Commander Craig DuFour at the state banquet.

Alexis Knight and Post 9787 Commander Teresa Drag are pictured.

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