March 18, 2011

Students earn scholarships by speaking to Optimist Clubs

It is one of my favorite times of the year, optimistically speaking. Optimist Clubs around the world are engaged in the Optimist International Oratorical Contest and the Optimist International Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

This is the time of year that Optimist Club members sit back and hear what is on the minds of students. Using a central theme, students talk about what has influenced them and what they want to do or see in the future. The topic this year is "If I Were the Leader of the Free World, the First Issue I Would Address Would Be..."

I have a feeling that we will hear a lot about current events and foreign policy this year; but I've been wrong before, and that is what makes the contest so special. Adults really cannot predict what the children are going to say.

Participants in the Optimist International scholarship programs must begin their entry with a local Optimist Club.  Winners advance through zone and regional competition to reach the District level where a $2,500 scholarship is awarded for first place in combined (female/male) competitions and $1,500 if separated.

It's not too late to find an Optimist Club near you. Read the instructions for the Optimist International Oratorical Contest and Optimist International Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and get involved. Students must be under age 19 as of December, 31, 2010.
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