In 2005, National President Sandy Germany of Alabama introduced a brand-new scholarship: Continuing Education. Unlike the Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen and Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest (and now including the 3-Dimenstional Patriotic Art Contest), this one was meant to be exclusively for adults – specifically, adult members of the VFW Auxiliary or their close relatives (children or spouses).
Since 2006, four scholarships of $1000 each have been awarded annually, one to an entrant from each Conference, to help with education-related expenses. Past winners have included spouses of active-duty soldiers, members returning to school after an extended hiatus, single parents looking to better their futures and the young adult children of members currently attending university as undergraduates.
National Headquarters staff member Nicole Panteleakos was among the four winners that first year, representing the Eastern Conference. She joined the Auxiliary in 2001 and is a Life Member of the Department of Connecticut.
“My tuition for the next year was already paid,” writes Panteleakos. “But on top of it, I was required to buy textbooks that easily cost $150-$300 a piece. With multiple books required for each of my seven classes, that added up! But the Continuing Education Scholarship covered them the fall semester, which was incredibly helpful.”
By using the money to pay for tuition, many past winners have therefore been free to spend other allocated school funds on related expenses like additional materials, transportation, housing and/or childcare during classes. In 2020, Danielle Barger, veteran and daughter of New Jersey member Lisa Barger, used it to offset loans while working toward her Master of Science degree, as the Post-9/11 GI Bill only covered her undergraduate education.
The Continuing Education scholarship is not only for those attending a four-year degree or master’s program. In 2021, three of the four winners were completing their education in nursing, while in 2010, one of the winners used the scholarship to pursue an electrical apprenticeship at a local technical school. Last year’s recipients included an aspiring sports reporter whose grandfather is a VFW Past State Commander, an athlete who lost her scholarship due to an injury, a law student proud of her indigenous heritage and a stay-at-home father of four whose wife was deployed in 2022.
There is still time to apply! Learn more here: Continuing Education Scholarship