Two students at Alpha Omega Academy (AOA) were selected as their state’s first place winner of the Voice of Democracy patriotic audio essay competition sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Freshman Lily Anna Cranford, who is currently in her fifth year as a student at Alpha Omega Academy, won in Alaska. She is the daughter of Derek and Michelle Cranford of North Pole. In addition, Charity Hernandez, a senior and three-year AOA student, won in the state of Nevada. She is the daughter of Eli and Kathy Hernandez of Las Vegas.
As state winners, Cranford and Hernandez received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they were honored by the VFW during the week of March 3-7, 2018. In addition to receiving their portion of $154,000 in national awards, they were also eligible to win the top scholarship of $30,000.
“It’s exciting to see our students achieve success in such a renowned competition put on by our nation’s heroes,” said Principal Joe Bakker. “Our staff congratulates Lily and Charity on representing their states and earning this recognition on a national level.”
Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the VFW’s premier scholarship program. Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay of 3-5 minutes on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme was “American History: Our Hope for the Future.”