Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $55,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level.
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, then download and complete the 2019-20 entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
The 2019-20 theme is:
What Makes America Great
About the 2018-19 winner …
Daniel Rodriguez, a sixth-grade student from Nogales, Ariz., was named the 2018-19 Patriot’s Pen first-place winner. His essay on the theme, “Why I Honor the American Flag,” won him a $5,000 award. Daniel was sponsored by VFW Post 2066 in Nogales, Ariz.