Optimist International sponsors three scholarship contests for students to earn money to pursue opportunities in higher education: the Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH), the Essay Contest and the Oratorical Contest. The contests are conducted at the Club level, then Zone and Regional (if necessary) and at the District level. District-level scholarships are funded by the Optimist International Foundations and awarded by Optimist International.
This contest requires students under the age of 18 by September 30 of the school year in which the contest is held and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean to compose a 700- to 800-word essay around a central idea. The contest is designed to develop writing and critical thinking skills. One scholarship of $2,500 per District is awarded by Optimist International each year. For more information, click here.
The Oratorical Contest is open to students under the age of 18 by September 30 of the school year in which the contest is held and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Students are required to prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on a pre-assigned topic. This contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship. For more information, click here.
Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Students who are certified to have a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more may compete in this contest designed to help them develop the skills and confidence to present in sign or orally to an audience. For more information, click here.
*Optimist International scholarships are made possible by you and your Optimist Club’s donations to the Optimist International Foundation in the United States and the Caribbean and the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation.
New Promotional Resource
Scholarship Contest Flyer - Use this informational flyer to promote contests in your area. Clubs can modify the form as needed to fit their contests.