The DeKalb County VFW Post 3128 Veterans and its Auxiliary members are very proud to say that "Nobody Does More For Veterans". However, some do not realize the effort and commitment we invest each year into America’s children within DeKalb County. Working alongside America’s youth and instilling a sense of patriotism has always been - and will always be - a VFW priority. We continually strive to produce scholars, dreamers and leaders who benefit the entire world.

Although we all faced challenges this past year, we didn’t want to stop encouraging our local students with personal growth and fostering a greater understanding and appreciation for America, its history and values. The DeKalb County VFW was very excited and honored to provide the following scholarships to the students of Cornerstone Christian Academy.

The first category of winners came from submissions in Patriots Pen. Each year, more than 165,000 students in grades sixth through eighth enter the VFW’s Patriots Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern America society, by drafting a 300 - 400 word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. The following students received monetary scholarships from their Patriots Pen submissions:

DeKalb County Winners

1st Place - Sadie Camp (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

2nd Place - Johnny Stewart III (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

3rd Place - Henry Adams (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

The Second category of winners came from submissions in Voice of Democracy. Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio/essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 64,500 ninth through 12th grade students from across the country enter to win their share of more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. The National first place winner can receive up to a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. The following students received monetary scholarships from their Voice of Democracy submissions.

DeKalb County Winners

1st Place - Braxton Clines (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

2nd Place - Sydnee Griffith (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

3rd Place - Jeremiah Williamson (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

Alabama District 2 Winners

1st Place - Sydnee Griffith (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

Our last category of winners came from a very special group of individuals, our Teacher of the Year submissions. Our youth deserve to learn about our rich history, traditions and the role of our veterans in creating and shaping America.

Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects elementary, middle and high school teachers to participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program. The following teachers were nominated by their peers and received monetary scholarships through their submissions.

DeKalb County Winners

• Elementary Category

Melissa Mays (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

• Middle School Category

Angela Findlay (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

• High School Category

Andrea West (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

Alabama District 2 Winners

• Elementary Category

Melissa Mays (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

• High School Category

Andrea West (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

Alabama State Winner

Melissa Mays (Cornerstone Christian Academy)

Again, the DeKalb County VFW will continue to inspire the personal growth of our youth. If you are interested in participating in the Patriots Pen, Voice of Democracy, or Teacher of the Year scholarship opportunities for the 2021-2022 year, please reach out to the local DeKalb County VFW Post 3128 members or you can email eric.dudash@yahoo.com for further details.

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