March 28, 2014

All ages compete in the Optimist International Oratorical Contest

One of the greatest things about the Optimist International Oratorical Contest is that it is open to all students 19 years of age and under. It's not unusual to find a 12- year old competing against a 16-year old and I've even seen contestants - good ones - as young as 7 or 8.

Some don't like the vast age range because they don't think it's fair for the younger students to compete against the older, more mature orators. But for me, I think that when the younger students get the opportunity to watch the older ones, they become motivated to do better the next year. That drive helps them get better, do better, and work for the best.

An example of younger and older students competing against each other and the younger student being victorious appeared in the Alpena News today from the Optimist Club of Alpena, MI. 17-year old Caitlyn Borke was the first place winner, followed by 13-year old Madelyn Boyd and 12-year old Taylor Ayotte.

Also shown in the picture is 13-year old Patrick Martin. He was the only boy to compete this year. I hope he enjoyed the experience and returns next year!

See more pictures of Optimist International scholarship program contestants here. 

Photo courtesy of the Alpena Optimist Club. 
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