VFW scholarship programs honor local students

Courtesy Photos: Pictured, from left are VFW District Seven President Nadia Flores, essay winner Elora Rael Smith and District Seven Commander Flores.

MONTE VISTA— The Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Posts and its Auxiliaries in District Seven would like to encourage high school and middle schools to participate in our scholarship programs. They also have the “Teacher of the Year” and “Scout of the Year” awards.


At the beginning of the school year, members will be going to the schools with posters, entry forms and information about these programs. If any students are interested now or during the summer to get a jumpstart and have any questions, please feel free to contact any VFW post or Auxiliary. These essays are open to the public, private and parochial schools, as well as home study schooling students.
“The Voice of Democracy” essay contest is open for students in grades 9-12. The national first place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship. The theme for the 2019-2020 is “What Makes America Great.” The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31, 2019.


The “Patriot’s Pen” essay contest is open for students in grades 6-8. The national first place winner receives a $5,000 scholarship. The theme for the 2019-2020 is “What Makes America Great.” The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31, 2019.


The “Young Creative Patriot Art” contest is open to students in grades 9-12. Students with talent in art are encouraged to enter this contest. The national first place winner receives a $10,000 scholarship. The deadline to enter is March 31, 2020.


In 2012-2013 the VFW Auxiliary and the District 7 winner for the “Voice of Democracy” essay contest was Nathaniel Reinholtz of Monte Vista (homeschooled) who also took second place at the Department level. Reinholtz received $100 from Auxiliary 3228 and $100 from District 7, a plaque and a check for $500 from the Department of Colorado VFW.


In 2017-2018 Ethan Reschke from Sargent High School was the winner with his essay. Auxiliary 8121 awarded him $100, as did District Seven and Reschke advanced to the Department level.
For the 2018-2019 school year, Sargent High School student Elora Rael Smith was the winner with her essay. Her theme was “Why My Vote Matters.” She received $100 from Auxiliary 8121 and $100 from District Seven. Rael Smith advanced to the Department level.


In 2014-2015 Adam Densmore from Aurora won the “Voice of Democracy “contest and took first place at the national level. He was awarded a $30,000 scholarship. Densmore was sponsored by the Department of Colorado VFW, District 10 and Post 3631 in Aurora.


In 2012-2013 the Patriot’s Pen essay was won by Colton Shawcroft. He received a backpack, a plaque, $100 from Auxiliary 3228 and $100 from District Seven. His essay was mailed to the department where he placed fifth at the state level, receiving another $100 and a letter of congratulations from Senator Michael Bennet.


In 2013-2014 Alyssa Rawinski won a backpack, a plaque and $100 from Auxiliary 3228. In 2014-2015 Levi Trujillo also received a backpack, a plaque and $100.


This year, 2018-2019, Sargent Middle School student Antonio Garcia was the winner with his essay “Why I Honor the American Flag.” He received $100 from VFW 8121 and $100 from District Seven. His essay advanced to state competition.


The Patriotic Art winners include Sargent student Jamie Gomez in 2015, Center High School student Jessica Garrison 2017 and this year, Monte Vista High School student Brianna Bounds. They have all won $100 from VFW Auxiliary 8121. Their art work then goes to the department for final judging. As the artwork comes from all over the state, the state level is very competitive.


Veterans of Foreign Wars and its auxiliaries would like to thank all the winners and all the participants who entered these scholarship contests. Thank you teachers for also participating and encouraging these students.


VFW Scholarship Chairmen are Peggy Martinez, 850-3066/Aux. 8121, Nadia Flores, 580-0393/Aux. 899 Alamosa and Veronica Knecht, 719-298-1914/Aux. 4849.

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