Local student’s audio essay on freedom heading to state
Voicing her thoughts on democracy is nothing new to Basehor-Linwood High School sophomore Tia Oelschlaeger.
For the last four years, Oelschlaeger has competed in the Veterans of Foreign Wars national Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay contests, winning local competitions and advancing to district and state competitions.
This year, Oelschlaeger's audio essay on the topic "How I Demonstrate My Freedom" won both local and district awards and is advancing to the state competition.
"I have entered the contests since the seventh grade," Oelschlaeger said. "I have always had pride in my country; it is something my mom instilled in me. This contest is a good way to show my pride."
Oelschlaeger, her family and local veterans have been invited to a dinner in Topeka on Jan. 28, where the state winners will be announced. If Oelschlaeger wins the state award, she will receive a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete at the national level.
The local VFW honored Oelschlaeger with a dinner in December, where she read her essay, which covered how she defined freedom and the price of freedom. Her essay was chosen by a group of local veterans based on a standard scoring system.
Voice of Democracy is an annual national audio essay contest that was created in 1947.