Maryland student takes 1st place $30,000 scholarship
WASHINGTON â€“ The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the national winners of its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriotâ€™s Pen youth scholarship competitions. The winners were announced live during last nightâ€™s Parade of Winners at the 2018 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
The Voice of Democracy audio-essay program celebrated its 71st year with nearly 40,000 students weighing in on this yearâ€™s theme, â€œAmerican History: Our Hope for the Future.â€ Robyn Anzulis, sponsored by VFW Post 10076 and its Auxiliary in Mt. Airy, Md., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was presented with the $30,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship award and delivered her first-place essay.
The second-place winner, Philip Dunagan, sponsored by VFW Post 2471 and its Auxiliary in The Dalles, Ore., was awarded the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship. Third-place winner Hannah Brown, sponsored by VFW Post 1039 and its Auxiliary in Menomonie, Wis., was awarded the $10,000 VFW Scholarship. All other state winners received at least a $1,000 college scholarship. See the complete list of 2018 Voice of Democracy winners.
For 23 years, the Patriot’s Pen essay program has fostered patriotism by allowing students in grades 6-8 the opportunity to examine Americaâ€™s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society based on an annual theme. 2018 first-place winner Karolina Mazur, sponsored by VFW Post 521 and its Auxiliary in Owings Mills, Md., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she accepted a $5,000 award and delivered her winning essay on this yearâ€™s theme, â€œAmericaâ€™s Gift to My Generation.â€The second-place winner, Victoria Perry, sponsored by VFW Post 7239 and its Auxiliary in Acushnet, Mass., received a $4,000 award, while third-place winner Isabella Garces, sponsored by VFW Post 2929 and its Auxiliary in Smithfield, R.I., received a $3,500 award. Nearly 130,000 students participate in the competition annually. See the complete list of 2018 Patriotâ€™s Pen winners.
â€œOur Voice of Democracy and Patriotâ€™s Pen programs are a very sacred part of our organization,â€ said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. â€œThe VFW believes our nationâ€™s future lies in the hands of Americaâ€™s youth, and if we empower our youth and demonstrate how to honor, respect and show compassion for their fellow man and country, not only will they have a greater sense of patriotism, theyâ€™ll become better citizens and greater leaders for future generations.â€