Troy’s Martin sixth at state ‘Voice of Democracy’ contest



By David Fong

TROY — Troy High School junior Rachel Martin placed sixth at the state level of the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ “Voice of Democracy” audio essay competition over the weekend.

Martin’s audio essay, “My Vision for America,” placed first at the school level and first at the district level. Martin was one of 12 district winners to move on and compete at the state level.

The Troy High School junior placed sixth, but was the judges had her just six points out of first place — each of the top six finishers were separated by a point apiece.

Martin’s essay — and her vision for America — focused heavily on equality for everyone.

“My vision for America focused on equality for everyone,” she said in a previous interview with the Troy Daily News. “I talked about the one day we would have a female president. It took us 220 years to get a person of color elected president. I’m hoping to see a woman elected president. I don’t know if that will happen or not this year — but hopefully it will happen sometime in my lifetime.”

By placing sixth at the state competition, Martin received a $2,000 college scholarship and $175 personally from VFW District 3. She also received a number of gifts from the local VFW.

Martin entered last year’s VFW “Voice of Democracy” competition as part of a class assignment for Troy High School English teacher Mike Gegel. She won at the school and local levels, but placed fifth at the district level.

Martin said she plans on entering again next year as a senior.

Contact David Fong at; follow him on Twitter @thefong