Senior Wins VFW Essay Contest

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Michael Zabkowski

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Senior Wins VFW Essay Contest

Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy essay contest has been the premier scholarship program of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (V.F.W.). This year, the theme was “Why My Vote Matters” and senior Jamilyn Smith won at the local level.

For her accomplishment, Smith received a certificate, a photo with Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Jones, a dinner with members of the V.F.W. and her oral essay will compete at the state level. If her oral essay does well at the state level, Smith will be considered for scholarship money.

Spanish teacher Karen Snyder said that the state level has various levels of winnings and cash prizes from $2,000-$10,000.

“Winning the contest was much more rewarding to me than I had previously thought. I got to have a deep discussion with Mike Jones about the changes he would like to make and give him my input. Also, the people in charge were some of the kindest people, and talking to them was a great experience,” Smith said about being the local winner.

Each year, almost 40,000 high school students compete in this contest to get a share of more than two million dollars in scholarship money. In order for students to compete, they must write an essay and record an audio essay (this will be the same essay, just in a different format) on a patriotic theme.

In Smith’s essay, she talked about how voting is participating in the government, which is a civil duty that any citizen should do. Smith also mentioned that voting helps keep the United States a democracy.

To read her full essay, please click here.

Smith chose to enter this contest not only for scholarship money towards college, but also because the V.F.W. holds this competition, and that is an organization that Smith is very gracious for due to the members having served for the country.

The last Rams’ student to advance to the state level of this contest was Noah Krechel, who won at the Fawn Grove V.F.W.