VFW Names Top

National Voice of Democracy

Scholarship Winners




Every year, nearly 230,000 of our nation's youth compete in the VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen audio essay competitions for their chance to win a portion of more than $3 million in college scholarships and awards.


On 1 April 2021, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) first-ever virtual Parade of Winners, the organization proudly presented more than $208,000 in scholarships and awards as it named the national winners of its 2021 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. In addition, to taking home college scholarship monies, the VFW surprised all of the Voice of Democracy state winners they would also receive a new laptop, courtesy of the event sponsor Dell.


Left to Right:  VFW Auxiliary National President Sandi Onstwedder, 1st Place National

Voice of Democracy Winner Erin Stoeckig and VFW National Commander-in-Chief Hal Roesch



1st Place WinnerErin Stoeckig from the Department of Minnesota was awarded the $30,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship.


2nd Place Winner - Faith Hannah Lea from the Department of Florida was awarded the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship


3rd Place Winner - Matthew Blair from the Department of New Hampshire was awarded the $10,000 VFW Scholarship.


10th Place Winner - Hannah Black from Glenns Ferry represented the Department of Idaho.  She was awarded the $3,000 Joseph and Irene Hansen Memorial Scholarship.  CONGRATULATIONS Hannah!




2020-2021 VFW State Department Voice of Democracy Winners






The Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars premier scholarship program since 1947. Ninth through 12th grade students compete for more than $2.1 million in college scholarships and awards by writing and recording a broadcast script on a patriotic theme.  This year’s theme is:  "Is this the Country the Founders Envisioned?”

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from Idaho wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to the national completion. 

Our state winner will also be invited to attend an all-expense paid trip to the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Freedom and Leadership Youth Conference. This three-day conference allows participating students the opportunity to converse with experts on current issues of citizenship, tour the Philadelphia and Valley Forge historic sites, and participate in seminars designed to develop leadership skills and understand the value of community service. The foundations of American democracy and the elements of the free enterprise system will also be explored through thought provoking lectures and workshops.


 Department of Idaho

Voice of Democracy 1stPlace Winner


 Hannah Black

Sponsored by District #6 - Post 3646 Glenns Ferry


Please click below to listen to Hannah's speech.



1st Place Winner:  Hannah Black – Sponsored by Glenns Ferry Post 3646, District 6.  Hannah will receive a check for $1,000 and a certificate.  She will also be invited to all-expense paid trip to attend Freedoms Foundation American Leaders Youth Summit at Valley Forge, PA.


2nd Place Winner:  Jocelynn Taylor -  Sponsored by Idaho Falls  Post 2146, District 8.  Jocelynn will receive  a check for $600 and a certificate.


3rd Place Winner:  Kristen Stanciu -  Sponsored by Meridan Post 4000, District 5. Kristen will receive a check for $400 and a certificate. 


 4th Place Winners:   Each student will receive a $200 check and a certificate.


Aaron Lehto - Sponsored by Shoshone Post 1675, District 1


Breyer Boyer - Sponsored by Orofino Post 3296, District 2


Ashlyn Walker - Sponsored by Payette  Post 2738, District 4


Brigham Renfroe - Sponsored by Soda Springs Post 9141, District 7