VFW Post 4843 in Ford City is encouraging local students to participate in some early scholarship opportunities (KP File Photo)
School has just been in session for the past several weeks, but local junior high or senior high students already have a few scholarship opportunities.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4843 in Ford City Patriotic Instructor Denise Russick announced the three scholarships open to multiple grades last week.
The first scholarship opportunity, “Patriots Pen,” is open to students in grades 6-8 (or ages 12-14).
It requires students to write a 300-400 word, typewritten essay on the theme “What Freedom Means to Me”. In no way may the contestant identify themselves within their essay (name, school, family member names). Judging is on knowledge of theme, clarity of ideas, and theme development.
According to the national VFW website, more than 125,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the youth essay contest each year. Last year’s winner, Ethan Schroeder, a 7th-grade student at Mary Queen of Apostles Catholic School in New Kensington, won a $5,000 award and a trip to Washington, D.C.
Ethan was sponsored by VFW Post 92 and the local Auxiliary.
Entries are due by October 21. There are more than 50 cash awards.
The second scholarship “Voice of Democracy,” inspires students in grades 9-12 (ages 15-18) to practice their vocal delivery with a three-to-five minute audio essay on “My Vision for America.”
The national winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and the first-prize winner from each state will receive an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. February 27-March 2 to tour the city and be honored by the National VFW.
The deadline for this entry is also October 21.
Students have a few extra months to work on their art skills before their “Young American Creative Patriotic Art Award” submissions are due.
Open to students in grades 9-12, art work completed in forms such as watercolor, pencil or pastel charcoal could win students a scholarship up to $10,000 and a trip to the national convention.
The winner will also be featured in the VFW magazine and on the national website.
Art submissions must be made by February 14.
There were 3,443 pieces submitted for the 2014-2015 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest.
Questions may be directed to Russick at 724-763-1160.
Local submissions may be made to Post 4843 via VFW Scholarship, 1880 State Route 66, Ford City, PA 16226.