Optimist International Essay Contest

Award Amount
Application deadline
Awarded By:

Optimist International

Number of Awards & Eligibility: varies
In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:
  1. This award is for international and U.S. students.
  2. Must be educated in the United States, Canada, or the Caribbean. Students must enter in the district in which they reside. U.S. students attending school on military installations outside the United States are eligible to enter in their last home of record. Students residing in non-districted areas are not eligible.
  3. Must be under the age of 18 as of Oct. 1 in the current Optimist International contest year (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30)

In order to qualify, students must meet the following criteria:

Description: Students who are under the age of 19 as of Dec. 31 are eligible to enter this essay contest. Students must enter through a local Optimist Club, which are located in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Application requirements for the Optimist International Essay Contest are:

  • Essay
  • Application form
Additional Information: The essay contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live. The approach can encompass a young person's personal experience, the experience of their country or a more historical perspective. *Please note: Students do not have to be members of an Optimist Club to enter the contest; however, they must be sponsored by a local club to enter.

Award Amount: Club winners will advance to the district contest to compete for a scholarship award. The district winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Each district winner is automatically entered into the International Essay Contest where a panel of judges selects the top three essays. Scholarships are awarded as follows: first place - $6,000; second place - $3,750; and third place - $2,250.  The total dollars awarded for this scholarship is $6,000.

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Friday, February 28

Deadline Information:

Deadline for this scholarship is Friday, February 28

The student may enter the contest only through his/her local Optimist Club. The deadline for each student to submit an essay to his/her local club is determined by each club individually; all club-level contests are held by early February. The local district chair should be contacted for specific information. If the student does not know the contact in his/her area, he/she can email [email protected]. Each essay must be typewritten and double-spaced, and contain between 700 and 800 words. A title page must also be included that contains the topic, number of words, writer's name, address, phone number, name of school, and date of birth.The essay must adhere to the guidelines on the application. Failure to do so will result in point deductions. The deadline for clubs to submit their winning essay to the district chair is Feb. 28. The deadline for districts to submit their winner's information to Optimist International is April 15.
About Optimist International:
Contact Information: Danielle Baugher, Program Coordinator
Address: 4494 Lindell Blvd. St. Louis, Missouri 63108

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