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.
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.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2018-19. We thank all of America's teachers and youth leaders for the time, effort and commitment they invest in our young people each year. We have a number of ways in which to assist you in helping to ensure your students get a head start on their future.