Logan, who plans a career in nursing, was sponsored by the Marvin Lee Ferguson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4850 and its Ladies Auxiliary, and attended the 2013 Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Activities Conference earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Black took first place at the Alabama State Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition to advance to the national level. He advanced to the state competition after placing first at the district and local level after entering the competition in November at the Marvin Lee Ferguson VFW Post 4850 in Jasper.
“This is so exciting, as far as we can determine we’ve never had one of our local Voice of Democracy winners win first place at both the District and State level, little on become one of the top winners at the national level,” said Paulette Murray, Post 4850 Ladies Auxiliary Scholarship chairman. “To have Logan representing our Post in Washington, D.C. was just fantastic. We are all very proud of him.”
Each year, more than 45,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.
The VFW established the Voice of Democracy (VOD) program in 1947 to provide students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school of choice. Other national scholarships range from $1,000 to $16,000, and the first-place winner from each state VFW department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Black, who is the son of Ryan and Kelley Black of Jasper and the grandson of Tommy and Brenda Holly of Jasper and Juanita Black of Sumiton, said he decided to enter the local competition after his father read about it in the Daily Mountain Eagle.
The theme for this year’s competition was “Is Our Constitution Still Relevant” and students in grades 9-12 from around Walker County were eligible to participate. Each participant had to record a three to five minute speech on a cassette or audio CD regarding the theme, and each speech was judged on originality, content and delivery.
“I had no idea I would get this far. I guess anything can happen if you just give something a try,” said Black, who has also been invited to attend the Freedom Foundation in Valley Forge, Penn., in June.