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Veterans of Foreign Wars
Department of California

No One Does More for Veterans

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Educational Programs

Excelsior College

The VFW sponsors many programs that recognize excellence among youth and adults who make a difference in their communities. Each year, over $3.5 million is given to our nation's youth through the VFW's educational programs.

  • Voice of Democracy - The Voice of Democracy is an essay contest that gives students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to express their democratic ideas and principles. The District winners will attend a banquet for VFW student scholarships in January where the top five essays are recognized and monetary prizes are awarded. The first-place student will present the winning essay and will receive a free trip to Washington, D.C. to join the other state winners for special activities.
  • Patriot's Pen - Each year, Junior High School students in grades 6-8 can compete in the Patriot's Pen by writing an essay on a patriotic theme. The first-place winner from each state competes to win one of 46 national awards totaling $46,000. For more information contact your local VFW post.
  • Scout of the Year - Through the Scout of the Year program, the VFW identifies members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, who display standout citizenship, patriotism and love of country.  The winners have the opportunity to be awarded college scholarships of up to $5,000.
  • Student Veteran Program - The VFW, in conjunction with the Student Veterans of America (SVA), developed the 1 Student Veteran program, which offers direct assistance to student veterans who have questions or are experiencing problems accessing their VA benefits.
  • National Citizenship Teacher Award - Each year, we recognize the nation's top elementary, junior high and senior high school teachers for their efforts to teach students about being responsible citizens, appreciating the freedoms that they have, and the role that veterans have played in keeping America free. For more information on the National Citizenship Teacher Award contact your local VFW post.To apply, click here.
  • Discount for Partners on Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Excelsior College: Education Partnership for VFW Members
  • VFW Department of California, Mexican Ancestry.  Started in 1972 as a non-profit, the mission of this group is to advance the education of youth who have successfully completed high school and plan on attending a University, College, or accredited Trade School.  The only requirement for membership is that you are a VFW member in good standing.  This organization has awarded approximately $250,000 in scholarships to date.  Annually, they offer 12 scholarships per year throughout the State of California, 11 of which are for $1,000 and the 12th is for $1,500.   For more information, please contact Rick Martinez at