Each year, nearly 38,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. 

Students write an essay on a theme chosen by the VFW, record themselves reading their work, and submit it to their local VFW. Each VFW Post (i.e. local chapter) selects a winner, who is then put into the ring for the next level (District). The District winners go to the state-level (Department) competition, and so on until they reach nationals. Nina was selected as a finalist by VFW Post 2632 and was awarded $400 for her essay entitled “Is This the Nation the Founders Envisioned?”  

“Nina’s essay was fantastic, and we are all very proud of her work,” said St. Mary’s Ryken history and government teacher, Mr. Leif Liberg. 

“The essay is not something that I require my students to write, but it touches on many of the themes that we discuss in U.S. History and American Government classes,” continued Liberg. “I strongly encourage my students to participate, but the decision is theirs.” SMR has had several entries over the last two years, with two students winning accolades from the VFW during that period (Luke Seep ’21 in 2020; Nina Ferrero ’22 in 2021).

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