First sponsored in 1983, the Essay Contest awards $10,000 annually in scholarships. Each Optimist International District conducts competitions beginning at the club level for youth under the age of 19 who are in the 10th, 11th or 12th grades (grades 11-13 in the Caribbean only). Club winners advance to the district contest where the winner receives a $650 scholarship. An International Essay panel judges the district winning essays.
Scholarships are awarded as follows: First Place – $5,000; Second Place – $3,000; and Third Place – $2,000. In addition to the scholarship, the First-Place winner receives an all expense paid trip with his/her parents to the annual Optimist International Convention.
TENTATIVE!!! Club Contest MUST BE COMPLETED by February 28th of the contest year. The Winning Club’s Essays MUST BE RECEIVED by The District Essay Chairman, by March 12th of the contest year.
Changes on a yearly bases
Club Level – Medallion
District Level – Plaque and a $650 college scholarship for first place winners.
International Level – 1st Place – $5,000 college scholarship, expense-paid trip for student and parents to Optimist Convention for a reading of the winning essay, plaque presented by the Optimist International President.
Who can participate:
Students under age 19 as of December 31st in grades 10, 11 or 12.