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Optimist International Essay Contest Examples

Optimist International Essay

Contest Deadline:

Essay contest

The deadline for submitting essay at the club level is February 1, 2018

The deadline for clubs to submit their winning essay for the zone level competition is February 28, 2018.

All students will receive a certificate of participation. The top 3 finishers received a medal and cash. The 1st place winner goes on to the zone contest.

1st: Shimika Basuroy
Folsom High School

TIE for 2nd: Nicole Rzhemovsky
Richmond, BC Canada, Hugh McRoberts Secondary School

TIE for 2nd: Amy Santana,
Sacramento, Cristo Rey High

3rd: Mikayla Hinds
Roseville, Granite Bay High

Other contestants:



Topic for the 2017-18 School Year is: “Can Society Function Without Respect?”

Who: Youth under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017 located in the United States, Canada, or the Caribbean.

How To Enter: Interested students must contact Optimist Club of Sacramento, Inc. They need to submit an essay on the pre-assigned topic.

When: The deadline for Clubs to submit their winning essay to the District Chair is February 28, 2018

Download contest rules and details here.


Student submissions will not be accepted after the Club-level contests have closed. The deadline to enter is determined by the sponsoring Optimist Club. All Club-level contests are typically held by late March. Please contact our club for deadline details or if you have other questions.

For an application with contest rules, please click here. The application must be submitted to the sponsoring Optimist Club.

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. In additional to developing skills for written expression, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship!

The guidelines require that contestants be under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017 and attending school in the United States, Canada, or the Caribbean. Club winners advance to the District contest to compete for a $2,500 college scholarship. The District-level scholarships are funded by the Optimist International Foundation.

Clubs and Districts
The District deadline to submit winners to Optimist International is May 15, 2018. Optimist International does not set Club/Zone/Regional deadlines.

For more information, please contact the essay chair, or contact the club here.


Essay Contest


The topic for the 2017-18 Optimist Essay Contest is:


 “Can Society Function Without Respect?


The Optimist International Essay Contest was first sponsored in 1983. Club winners advance to the District contest. Essays must contain at least 700 words but no more than 800 words. The contest is open to students under age 18 as of 10/1/2017 who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent. Students must enter in the District in which they reside. The District Winner is awarded a $2,500 scholarship, furnished by the Optimist International Foundation. All Club winning Essays are due to the District Chair by February 28, 2018. Individual Club deadlines vary, however, most Club deadlines are on or about January 31, 2018.

To enter the contest, please complete and submit the following application to the District Essay Contest Chair who will assign you to a Club Contest near your community.


Application for 2017-2018 Optimist International Essay Contest