Voices of Democracy is a national competition, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to offer scholarships to high school students. Last year, Spencer senior Jesse Barnes earned $2,000 in scholarships for her success at the national level.
Participants write and record a speech responding to the VFW-released theme. Last year's theme was "Is there pride in serving in our military?" This year, Zinn and Steinkamp responded to "Is our Constitution still relevant?"
"I focused on the preamble, and described why it is still important in our society today," Steinkamp said.
Zinn spoke on the constitution's influence around the world.
Both Zinn and Steinkamp entered the competition through their speech class, as a required assignment. Speech teacher Jan Myers entered her students' speeches into the competition.
"We've never done anything like this before," Zinn said. "It was a fun experience, and it was cool to win."
Zinn and Steinkamp, both seniors, are ambitious in their career aspirations. Steinkamp hopes to focus on wind energy, potentially attending Iowa Lakes Community College.
"After college, I think it would be cool to go and work in Ireland," he said.
Zinn plans to attend Buena Vista University to study international business. She then hopes to attend Drake University for a master's degree, ultimately working for the government in foreign affairs.
Zinn and Steinkamp were recognized at a dinner, sponsored by local VFW post 3155 and the Women's Auxiliary on Dec. 5.
Both speech recordings were sent to Sioux City as entries for the district competition.