Voice of Democracy
Voice of Democracy
Gina Pospichal

Chambers students earn VFW awards

CHAMBERS, December 8, 2017—Alexis Butterfield, a freshman at Chambers Public School, was named the local first-place winner and recipient of a $60 award in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program. Butterfield is the daughter of Trenton and Tina Butterfield.  

Jenae Whitaker, an eighth-grader at Chambers Public School, earned third place and was the recipient of a $20 award in the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest.  Whitaker is the daughter of Kyle Whitaker and Halie Forre of Chambers.

Gina Pospichal, American history instructor at Chambers Public School, directed student entries. 

William H. Crawford VFW Post 926, O’Neill, Nebraska, sponsored both competitions.  Contest Chairman Frank Shefl and Past State VFW Commander Roger Lang presented Butterfield and Whitaker with their awards.

The Voice of Democracy is a worldwide audio-essay competition that requires entrants to write and record a three-to-five minute essay on a patriotic-based theme. “American History: Our Hope for the Future” was this year’s theme. 

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2 million in scholarships every year.

The VFW enacted the Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition in 1995 as a way to encourage young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society while improving their writing skills. Students in grades 6-8 expressed their opinions on democracy based on the theme: “America’s Gift to My Generation.”