Optimist International sponsors scholarships as prizes for the winners of the
contests listed below. Each contest is entered through your local Optimist Club.
This organization does not offer any application-based or need-based scholarships.
Some individual Clubs do, but this information is not available at the International
Office. All communication should be made with an Optimist Club Member in your
Topic: “Optimism Should be a Priority”
The Essay Contest is for students under 19 years of age
who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent and attend school in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Students residing
on U.S. military bases overseas are eligible to enter using their last U.S. home
of record. All Club contests are held by early February. Club contest winners progress
to the District level.
Plaque and a $2,500 college scholarship
Topic: “How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements of the Future”
The Oratorical Contest is for young people under 19 years of age
who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent and attend school in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Contest
entry ends by late March. Each applicant is required to give a 4- to 5-minute
speech. Winners progress to the next level.
Plaque and two $2,500 scholarships or
Plaque and a first-place scholarship of $2,500, a second-place scholarship
of $1,500, and a third-place scholarship of $1,000
Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The current topic is: “How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements of the Future”
The Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is for young people
up to and including grade 12 in the United States and Canada, to CEGEP in Quebec
and grade 13 in the Caribbean, who are identified by a qualified audiologist as
deaf or hard of hearing. Students interested in participating in the contest must
submit an audiogram completed within 24 months of the date of the contest by a
qualified audiologist. Students must have a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more
to be eligible to compete. Students may use sign language, oral presentation or
a combination of both. Contests run at various times in each state/province but
conclude by late May.
Plaque and $2,500 college scholarship for first-place winner
If you meet the criteria listed above for the 2013-2014 school year, locate the
area in which you live on the District
map. You will need to contact the Chairperson who corresponds with your District.
For their contact information, e-mail the Programs Department at firstname.lastname@example.org in the Fall.
The District Chair will put you in touch with a Club in your area that is sponsoring the contest and answer questions such as proper format and deadlines.