The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives youngsters the chance to speak to the world. More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundations is awarded annually from this program. First conducted in 1928, this is the second most popular Optimist International Program. Nearly 2,000 clubs participate in this program each year.
This contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship.
The 2018-2019 theme is "Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”
The contest is open to contestants under the age of 19 as of October 1 of the current Optimist International contest year (October 1 – September 30) and is not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution. Districts and Clubs will hold combined gender contests.
Entry due to the club by Early March 2019
Zone Contest (if required) by early April 2019
District Contest late April 2019
The St. Paul Optimist Club winners qualify to compete for the District Oratorical Scholarships. District Oratorical scholarships awards are awarded for First Place: $2500 Second Place: $1500 Third Place: $1000
District Winners can advance to Regional, and there will be a World Championship Contest. One winner can win up to $22,500 or more in scholarships.
General contest information from Optimist International can be found here: http://www.optimist.org/e/member/scholarships4.cfm