Local Brief – Voice of Democracy audio and essay contest

Derek Garcia, a senior at Dora High School, won at the local, district and state level of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Voice of Democracy audio and essay contest.

The Voice of Democracy contest included more than 50,000 high school students competing by writing and recording broadcast scripts on a patriotic theme. This year students were asked: "Is our Constitution still relevant?"

Garcia was given an all-expense paid trip to Albuquerque in February to attend the annual New Mexico VFW conference where he presented his speech and was awarded $1000.

From Saturday through Wednesday, Garcia will be in Washington, D.C. to meet government leaders, including President Barack Obama, and will be honored by the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary to receive his portion of $152,000 in national awards.

Later this summer in June, Garcia will be attending a Patriotic Leadership Conference in Philadelphia to be a part of the Voice of Democracy Parade of Winners.

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