The John Gainous VFW and Auxiliary 10069 of Port St. Joe announced last week the winners of the Voice of Democracy scholarships.

The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school students with the opportunity to speak out on freedom and democracy. The program has been popular and successful since its beginning in 1947, and the Post and Auxiliary are proud to keep offering it to America’s young people.

The Voice of Democracy is a worldwide audio-essay competition that requires entrants to write and record a three-to-five minute essay on a patriotic-based theme.

This year’s theme is “What Makes America Great.”

All of the high school students in Gulf County were invited to participate in the competition.

The first-place winner is Carolyn Alexis Johns, daughter of Bobby and Cheronell Johns. She is a senior at Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School. Alexis earned $800 in scholarships from Post 10069.

Her entry has advanced to District 17 competition. District winners compete for the state title. The state winner will represent Florida against 53 finalists worldwide in Washington, D.C. and compete at the national level for the first-place prize of a $30,000 college scholarship.

Jaiyden P. Scuggs, daughter of Jamie Haney, is the second-place winner, earning $400 in scholarships from Post 10069. She is a sophomore at Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School.

Jordan N. Moore, a Wewahitchka senior, was the third-place winner of $175 in scholarships. She is the daughter of Heather Moore.

The students presented their essays to the VFW and Auxiliary last week.

Commander Robert Ray congratulated the scholarship winners and their parents. The members want to thank all of the entrants and encourage all eligible students to enter the next year.