Montini Catholic juniors, Swarnika Sampat and Devin Hoovel were recently awarded for putting pen to paper and their voices to video and entering the Voice of Democracy Patriotic Essay Competition sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign War's (VFW) (Lombard Post 5815). Miss Sampat of Lombard took 2nd place in the contest and Mr. Hoovel of Glen Ellyn finished 3rd.
Devin, a graduate of Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, was also pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the contest. "This was my first year entering, but I'm glad that I did!" (Below is an excerpt from Devin's essay.)
Voting is the backbone of American society, as one of the more democratic nations of the world, opinions are something we should pride ourselves on. Having the choice to choose your leaders and legislature is a privilege that many others do not have. Everyone has a voice that matters in society, but it is not always heard. With that in mind, it is clear that everyone's vote, not just my own, matters and that voice needs to be heard.
Each year, nearly 40,000 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. Their Voice of Democracy program was established in 1947 to provide high school students with an opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient's American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. "
Congratulations to Swarnika and Devin for their outstanding essay," said Kevin Beirne. "We are always delighted when one of our students steps up to be a voice for our school and our nation. We are very impressed by their essays and wonderful accomplishment."