In conjunction with the nationwide Voice of Democracy Scholarship awards for Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Houston Police Post 6010 made a significant contribution in December as it hosted five scholarship candidates and their families at the Houston Police Officers Union.
This particular scholarship program is open to students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in public, private or parochial high school or home study programs.
The Voice of Democracy is an audio-based essay program that provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in a democratic- and patriotic-themed recorded essay. The ultimate winner receives and all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC to tour the city and the VFW auxiliary. The winner also will receive his/her portion of the $154,000 awarded nationally. The top scholarship is a $30,000 award.
The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program in 1947 to provide an opportunity for eligible students to express democratic ideas and principles.
The award candidates for Houston Police Post 6010 are:
- Michael “Mikey” Ybanez, Needville High School
- Isabella Martin, Travis High School
- Isaiah Osazuwa, Alief High School
- Kimberly Wilson of DeBakey High School
- William Lee Blaisdell of Galena Park High School. William was the first place VFW District 4 winner who received a $300 scholarship award for his oral essay. In addition, he also won $1,000 scholarship from the State Veterans of Foreign Wars as a statewide finalist.
The 2017 Post 6010 award winner Peggy E. Polydoros of Lamar High School finished in fourth place statewide out of a field of 1,600 students.
Post 6010 Commander Steve R. Benavides said, “We are hoping that this year’s recipient can go all the way to Washington, DC but we are proud of all of our scholarship candidates regardless.”
Each participant in this year’s ceremony received a congratulatory letter of appreciation from VFW Post 6010 along with gift certificates just in time for Christmas.