CHS student wins Voice of Democracy competition

8 years ago
     CARIBOU, Maine — Corinne Corbin of Caribou High School will be speaking in Washington, D.C. in late February and competing in the Voice of Democracy competition on a national level.

     Sponsored locally by Lister-Knowlton VFW Post 9389 and its Ladies Auxiliary, the yearly competition involves writing a prompt that changes each year. The prompt is then delivered as a speech. This year’s prompt was about the speaker’s vision for America.

     “My speech began by explaining what America meant to me,” said Corbin, “and that people should maintain the country’s traditions but also let it advance and grow.”

     Corbin did not know she had won the statewide competition until she attended a banquet in Winslow, at which point she was awarded a $750 check and an all-expense-paid trip to D.C.

     “We’re really proud of Corinne,” said CHS English teacher Alana Margeson. “It is great when students can meet learning targets and also use their voice in authentic tasks such as voicing one’s opinion about their vision for the country. It’s not just being able to write well but it’s also about being a great verbal communicator. Those are some pretty complex skills,” she said.

     “I think she’ll go on to represent her school and community very well,” said CHS Guidance Counselor Mark Pinette.

     “We would like to thank our local VFW Post and Ladies Auxiliary in Caribou,” added Margeson. “They have really opened up the avenues of communication about the essay contest. We work in tandem with them to get essays scored by veterans on a local level. These events are a wonderful school and community relationship builder, so we’re very thankful for all of their support.”

     Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.

     According to the Legion website, the national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000 to $16,000.

     The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.