ERHS student wins Voice of Democracy award

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Lucy Leither, of Ramsey, earned first place in the Veterans of Foreign Wars — 7th District Voice of Democracy Essay Competition on Dec. 2.

Commander Theresa Shumway and Auxiliary President Kathy Hanson of the Coon Rapids VFW Post 9625 announced Lucy Leither, of Ramsey, earned first place in the Veterans of Foreign Wars — 7th District Voice of Democracy Essay Competition on Dec. 2.

In this nationally recognized audio essay competition, Leither, a junior at Elk River High School, will now move on to the state level of this VFW program.

Her teacher is Denise Green. The essay topic this year was “What Makes America Great.” Lucy’s essay has been forwarded to the department (state) competition where winners will be announced on Jan. 18, 2020, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 117th State Midwinter Conference in Minneapolis. State level prizes start at $100, with first place receiving $2,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national competition. The state winner also receives free tuition and travel to the 2020 Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program at Valley Forge in June.

The Voice of Democracy Program is a premiere high school level audio essay competition that started in 1947. This program receives entries from more than 51,000 students nationwide from 9-12th grade with the top national prize bring a $30,000 scholarship. It is also recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as an approved student contest and activity.

In addition, to the Voice of Democracy Program, the VFW and its auxiliary also host several other Youth Americanism programs, including the Fall Patriot’s Pen Essay Competition for 6-8 grade students (also a national essay contest), where the top National Award is a $5,000 scholarship. Spring competitions include the national Young American Patriotic Art Competition for High School students, the new Illustrating America Art Contest for grades K-8 and Scout of the Year Honors. All contests are announced through the schools and local newspapers.

Anyone interested in more information on any of the VFW youth programs can contact the Coon Rapids VFW Post 9625, Youth Activities Auxiliary Chairman Melody Shryock, at 763-712-1873 or by email at mkshryock@gmail.com You can also request to be placed on a contact list for future contests.

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