By Kathy Miller
Eliana Garvey and Alyssa Schneider were honored on December 16, 2021, as scholarship essay winners by the VFW Post 5651 in New Melle. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. sponsors two scholarship essay contests each year: The Voice of Democracy for grades 9-12 and the Patriot’s Pen for grades 6-8. Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, these essay competitions help foster patriotism among today’s youth.
This year's theme for The Voice of Democracy essay was “Where Do We Go From Here?” Alyssa Schneider, 16, the Voice of Democracy Award recipient, wrote that " Our country was built on freedom and Christianity, and if we deter from those two aspects, our country is most likely to fall. As we go forward, we should be more aware of our surroundings and actions as our country grows and in leading it in the right path." This is the third scholarship essay that Alyssa has won through the VFW.
The theme for The Patriot's Pen essay this year was "How Can I Be a Good American?" Eliana Garvey, 12, was the recipient and wrote, "We should always be kind and loyal Americans no matter where we are, at home, at a friend's home or in our community." and that "This nation has become great by one good small act at a time."
They each received a $100 check from the New Melle VFW Post 5651 and another $100 check from the Auxiliary. Alyssa and Eliana also received Certificates of Recognition for their outstanding achievement and exceptional leadership ability as esteemed representatives of American youth. They were signed by Stan Wisdom, the Post Commander. Both recipients are now eligible to participate in the state and national essay competitions.
For The Voice of Democracy, one winner from each state receives a minimum scholarship of $1,000 plus an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where the top national prize of a $30,000 scholarship is awarded. The Patriot’s Pen essay competition also offers an opportunity to compete at state and national levels, with a top award of $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Congratulations, Alyssa and Eliana!
(L-R): Dave Farwig - VFW Auxiliary President,
Eliana Garvey - The Patriot's Pen Winner,
Alyssa Schneider - The Voice of Democracy Winner,
Stan Wisdom - VFW Post 5651 Commander.