August 8, 2014

Find a new friend

I've been told that people, especially Gen X and Ys, aren't joiners. Technology has replaced face-to-face gatherings as we connect online and share crazy pictures, stunts, and yes, #selfies.

But let me tell you, nothing replaces the camaraderie of a service club. When you meet with people regularly to discuss how you might improve your community, you make friends and soon you realize that it is not just your community that is being improved, it's your life, and your family's life, that is benefiting the most.

Coming together with others in an Optimist Club will help you maintain a positive attitude. The service that you provide will nurture your community and the friends you make will nurture your soul.

Find an Optimist Club near you and don't just visit - join! If you don't find a club near you on this list, please send me a message and I'll work with you to help get one going in your neighborhood.

July 31, 2014

Ken Garner, Optimist International President 2014-2015 answers the question: Who Am I?

People draw meaning from different parts of any learning activity in which they take part. The 2014 Optimist International Convention was one such event. It inspired the attendees with stories from young Austin Gatus about not giving up and working through life-threatening medical complications. Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series shared a message of personal leadership and challenged every individual to help the organization grow by recruiting one new member. There were governance issues presented, discussed and resolved and a number of sessions to train members to be successful in their leadership roles.

And then there was this. Ken Garner, President, Optimist International, 2014-2015 took the stage and wowed the audience with his energy. He even included a song. Please take 25 minutes to enjoy his speech and be sure to stay tuned until the end so that you can understand, just like you, Ken Garner is an optimist.

Who Am I? 


July 27, 2014

Optimist Clubs encourage good communication skills with scholarship contests

optimist international scholarship contests
Can you believe it? Children head back to school in three to four weeks or less. While you scratch your head wondering how that can be possible, let me tell you about the Optimist International Scholarship Contests for 2014-2015.

All Optimist International Scholarship contests begin at the club level. Following rules determined by Optimist International and a timeline set by the district based on those rules, Optimist Clubs invite students to participate in essay and oratorical contests.

The theme for the Optimist International Essay Contest for 2014-2015 is "Optimism Should be a Priority." It is open to students under the age of 19 who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent. Find out more, including a club planning guide here: Optimist International Essay Contest.

The theme for the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for 2014-2015 is "How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements of the Future." It is open to students under the age of 19 who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Find out more including a club planning guide here: Optimist International Oratorical Contest.

The Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) for 2014-2015 will also address "How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements of the Future." It is open to students through grade 12 in the United States and Canada, to CEGEP in Quebec and grade 13 in the Caribbean, who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Find out more including a club planning guide here: Optimist International CCDHH.

Now is the time to get the topics to your schools. Those who teach English, public speaking or theater arts, among others, may include the contests in their lesson plan if they know early enough about the topic and the scoring method. Counselors and others may also encourage students to participate. Get the word out there! Optimist International Scholarship Contests rock!

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