At our February club meeting this week, we wrapped up our 2019-2020 Essay and Oratorical contests. Essay contestants wrote on the topic “Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you iMagine?” while the Oratorical contestants spoke for five minutes on the topic “Just iMagine a World without Boundaries.”
We applaud all competing students for their creativity and hard work. The winning Essay moves on to compete at the Midwestern Ontario District. The first and second place finishers in the Oratorical Contest participate in the Zone 7 (Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge) contest where two speakers will be chosen to compete at the District contest in May. (Scholarships are awarded at the District level and Oratorical Contest winners can move on to compete for additional scholarships regionally and internationally.)
Thank you to the principals, teachers, judges and parents for supporting these talented youth.
Want to showcase your writing skills? Or your public speaking skills? Consider participating in one or both of our annual contests this school year. With some exceptions, you are welcome to participate every year — an excellent way to practice and develop your skills in a supportive, risk-free environment.
Contestants participate in a club-level contest and winners move on to compete at higher levels where scholarships are awarded to winners. (Click on links below for more details.)
I was fortunate to be selected to represent my school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership conference, also known as HOBY. If I could describe my experience in a few words, it would be inspiring, life changing, and incredibly fun. From the moment I arrived I was attacked with good vibes and lots of spirit. Throughout the three days we did team building activities, community projects, had a dance, a talent show, and listened to some amazing motivational speakers.
I left the seminar with many new friends, an inspired mind, and a determination to get involved in my school. My experience at HOBY has encouraged me to do things that without it, I may not have done. It left me feeling empowered and able to do anything. It left me brave enough to apply for student council, which is now one of my favourite aspects of grade eleven. It’s taught me a lot about being a leader in life and at school.
I’m so thankful to the Optimist Club for sponsoring HOBY. It has touch the lives of so many people and has a rippling effect that continues to benefit communities long after the event. It is unlike any other leadership program out there. The way I live my life would be very different if I hadn’t had this opportunity, and all the other HOBY alumni will tell you the same. Please continue to sponsor this amazing event and inspire more and more students. Thank you, thank you, for investing in today’s youth, and tomorrow’s leaders.