NORTH COUNTY — The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 2814 (Atascadero) encourages local young artists, writers, singers and patriotic minds to apply to a variety of national contests that award as high as $30,000 to help with furthering their education.

Scholarships are open to students enrolled in public, private, parochial, or a home study program in the U.S. Applicants must be a California resident and a U.S. citizen or U.S. national but do not have to be related to a VFW or VFW Auxiliary member to participate. Submissions must be made to a local VFW Post in order to be eligible for district, department or national awards.

Submission deadlines, rules and the required application vary for each contest. See the website provided below for each contest for specifics before submitting:

Patriot’s Pen Essay

Voice of Democracy Audio-Essay Contest

  • Eligibility: Grades 9-12
  • Submission Deadline: Oct. 31
  • Top Award: National Award of up to $30,000
  • Details: In a 3- to 5-minute recorded video, high school students answer this year’s essay question of, “Is this the country the Founders envisioned?” 
  • Rules and Application: vfw.org/community/youth-and-education/youth-scholarships

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest

  • Eligibility: Grades 9-12
  • Submission Deadline: March 31, 2021
  • Top Award: National award of up to $15,000
  • Details: Through an original 2-D or 3-D art on paper or canvas, high school students are invited to express their patriotism. Digital art, photography and jewelry are not accepted.
  • Rules and Application: vfwauxiliary.org/scholarships

Illustrating America

  • Eligibility: Grades 1-8
  • Submission Deadline: March 31, 2021
  • Top Award: National awards of up to a $100 gift card per division
  • Details: Through an original 2-D art on paper or canvas, elementary and middle school students are invited to express their patriotism. Coloring sheets, digital art and photography are not accepted.
  • Rules and Application: vfwauxiliary.org/what-we-do/youth-activities

Get Excited for the Red, White and Blue! National Anthem Singing Contest

  • Eligibility: Youth ages 6 to 16 at the time of local entry
  • Submission Deadline: March 31, 2021
  • Top Award: One National winner receives a $1,000 Visa gift card
  • Details: Young people are invited to express their creativity and showcase their vocal talent using the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Entries are judged on vocal ability, mastery of lyrics, originality or interpretation and entertainment value.
  • Rules and Application: vfwauxiliary.org/what-weFor-do/youth-activities

Submissions for any of the above contests can be submitted to the VFW Auxiliary 2814 by email to vfwauxiliary2814@gmail.com or by mail to 9555 Morro Road, Atascadero, CA 93422 Attn: Ward Roney, Scholarships/Youth Activities Program. For more information or assistance, contact Ward at 805-953-5391 (voicemail) or vfwauxiliary2814@gmail.com.

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