Optimist Essay Contest

2023-2024 Topic:

 “Optimism: How It Connects Us”





Now is the time to begin preparations for your Club’s Essay Contest. If your Club does not currently have an Essay Contest you should start participating. This is a great opportunity to give the youth in your area writing experience as well as a chance for a $2,500 scholarship. Your Club needs only one member to participate but several members can participate if they are available.
The Club chairperson first becomes familiar with the rules and sets the dates for the contest to begin and end. He or she then gives the applications to schools, churches and other places where you serve youth in your area. The chairperson then selects three qualified judges who are not acquainted with the writers of the essays to pick the top three essays from all of the essays received. At the Club level, the judges may be Optimist Club members. Finally, the Club chairperson delivers the Club’s winning essay to the District Chairperson.


A $10.00 fee to South Texas District is required.
Each Club may award medallions to their winners. These are optional and cost about $20.00.
Other awards are permitted at the Club level. Details are in the Club Chair’s rules.


Participants get experience writing the essays.
The District winner receives a Scholarship of $2,500.00.
The Club has an opportunity for a meeting program.
Invite the three winners to a meeting to read their essays and receive their awards. Also, invite their parents to attend. They may join your club.

Summary of Key Items

The official topic for 2023-2024 is  “Optimism: How It Connects Us”
The essay contest is open to youth under age 19 as of October 1st 2019 (and not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution). There is no minimun age.
The Club winning essay along with the other required documents and the $10.00 District fee must be received by the District contest chair on or before February 28, 2024.
Clubs that do not have access to the Internet should contact the District Chair, Greg Lester, at (281) 597-1300 and leave your name, mailing address and a message requesting a copy of the rules and the application.
Clubs should send the Club contest winning essay to Greg Lester, 1426 Trace Drive, Houston, TX 77077


Optimist Year Winner's Name Sponsor Club
2020-2021 Gia Mukherjee Austin Optimist Club
2019-2020 Kayla Bush Waco Optimist Club
2018-2019 Julia Montgomery Manchaca Optimist Club
2017-2018 Megan Oldham Austin Optimist Club
2016-2017 Clio Holman Austin Optimist Club
2015-2016 Macie Lumpkins Fredericksburg Optimist Club
2014-2015 Kristina Correa Corpus Christi - Downtown Optimist Club
2013-2014 Melissa Thayer Round Rock Optimist Club
2012-2013 Paige Robbins Greater Southwest Austin Optimist Club
2011-2012 Tyler Aaron Dockery La Grange Optimist Club
2010-2011 Stephen Vincent Fort Bend Sugar Land Optimist Club
2009-2010 Hayden Fullen Windcrest - San Antonio Optimist Club
2008-2009 Austin Moore Manchaca Optimist Club
2007-2008 Tiffany Crenwelge Fredericksburg Optimist Club