Optimist Essay Scholarship Contest

This contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people room to develop their own views around a central idea. In addition to the opportunity for written expression,  participants have the chance to win a college scholarship! 

The Topic for the 2017-18 School Year is: "Can Society Function WIthout Respect?"

Length: 700-800 words (Title, footnotes and bibliography are not included in the final word count). Hyphenated words
count as one (1) word.


Students must be under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017 and live in Sumter or Clarendon County in South Carolina.

How To Enter: Interested students should send the essay and application to PalmettoOptimistClub@gmail.com.

All Essays will be due January 15th 2018.

Up to $2,500 in college Scholarships available at the district level. Club level award will be based on fundraising eforts conducted by the Palmetto Optimist Club.

Click the the button to the right  to download the essay contest application and rules.
Essay Rules and Application

Optimist Oratorical Scholarship Contest

Since its start in 1928, the Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program sponsored by Optimist International. The contest is designed for youth to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship.

Topic for the 2017-2018 School Year is: “Where are my Roots of Optimism?.”

Students must be under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017 and live in Sumter or Clarendon County in South Carolina


How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech along with the application on the pre-assigned topic to The Palmetto Optimist Club at
PalmettoOptimistClub@gmail.com.

All speeches with applications will be due March 1, 2018.

Up to $22,500 in college Scholarships are available at the international level. Club level awards willbe based on fundraising eforts conducted by the Palmetto Optimist Club.

Click the button to the right to download the Oratorical contest application and rules.
Oratorical Rules and Application