The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6917 recently announced that Centennial High School Senior Jazmin Collins was named the winner of the post’s annual 2017-18 Voice of Democracy audio essay contest. In addition, Mayfield High School Sophomore Mireya Sanchez-Maes earned second place, followed by Oñate High School Senior Izabell Homer who earned third place.

CHS Senior Jazmin Collins

CHS Senior Jazmin Collins

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay completion is a national competition which awards scholarships to high school students based on an original, three-to-five minute audio-essay about an annual theme. This year’s theme was: “American History: Our Hope for the Future.”

MHS Sophomore Mireya Sanchez-Maes

MHS Sophomore Mireya Sanchez-Maes

Winning essays are selected at the local and national level based on: originality, content and delivery, according to the VFW website. The competition was open to all open to ninth- through 12th-grade students who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the U.S.

OHS Senior Izabell Homer

OHS Senior Izabell Homer

As the post winner, Collins will now go on to compete at the state level for the chance to compete for the national prize.

The national first-place winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each state will be awarded a minimum of $1,000 in scholarships and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

According to the VFW website, each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide high school students with the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

VFW Post 6917 is located at 5845 Bataan Memorial West, Las Cruces, with Commander Raul Sanchez in command. Post meetings are 2nd Thursday at 7:00 PM (575) 382-9703

ABOUT THE VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation’s largest and oldest major war veterans’ organization. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in nearly 6,400 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans’ service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.

-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, pdahlgren@lcps.net, (575) 527-5808