Madison Tank, a senior at Woodstock High School, beat out the competition at the local VFW post and went on to represent Canton Post 5262 in the state and national competitions.
For her speech, Tank wrote a letter to her future child about the optimism she has for the country.
“There is a whole country waiting for you,” Tank said in her speech, “You are the reason for hope and optimism. You are the future of this nation.”
Tank also gave her future son or daughter tips on how to be a better American in her speech for the VFW contest.
“Always remember the phrase ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ It’s the core of the American dream,” she said.
Tank was honored in Macon at the VFW’s mid-winter meeting for being selected as the 2013-14 Georgia Voice of Democracy speech and essay scholarship contest winner.
Tank won about $1,500 in scholarships for her success in the district- and state-level competitions.
She was also chosen as the fourth-place winner for the 2014 National Voice of Democracy program, receiving the $7,000 Leroy Moorhead Memorial Scholarship Award.
The scholarship was provided by former Heavyweight Boxing Champion George Foreman, and Tank received the award at a March ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Tank beat out about 50,000 high school students from across the U.S. who entered the contest with a theme of “Why I’m optimistic about our nation’s future.”