2016-17 Oratorical Contest

The Optimist Club of Greenville is accepting applications for its annual Oratorical Contest for students younger than 18 as of October 1, 2016; who are educated in Pitt County; and have not graduated from high school or the equivalent.

Contestants will present a 4-5 minute presentation on the theme “What the Word Gains from Optimism.”  The two top speakers at the club level receive medallions and will have an opportunity to participate in the Zone 4 Contest and may advance to the NC East District Contest which will provide a first place scholarship of $2,500, second place scholarship of $1,500, and a third place scholarship of $1,000.

The Optimist Oratorical World Championship is to be held June 15-16, 2017.  Each Optimist District will have the exciting opportunity to send one of their District Oratorical winners to St. Louis to compete with the winners of the Districts in their Region for a scholarship valued at $5,000 or more.  The winner of each Region (eight winners total) will compete with the winner from Saint Louis University’s Global Region for a $15,000, $10,000, or $5,000 World Championship scholarship.  There is a potential for a student to win $22,500 or more in scholarships.

Applications (accompanied with copy of birth certificate and typewritten speech) are due by noon on Friday, March 10, 2017; more information is available at entries@greenvilleoptimists.org

2016-17 Essay Contest

The Optimist Club of Greenville is accepting applications for its annual essay contest, which is open to students under 18 as of October 1, 2016 and who are educated in Pitt County and have not graduated from high school or the equivalent to compose a 700 to 800-word essay “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges” which is the topic for the 2016-2017 School Year.

The winner will be entered into the NC East District contest. The district contest winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship from Optimist International. Applications are due February 3, 2016. Additional information available by contacting Pamela Franks at  (252) 814-7794 or email: entries@greenvilleoptimists.org

Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges”

The Essay Contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live. The approach can encompass a young person’s personal experience, the experience of their country or a more historical perspective. In additional to developing skills for written expression, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship!

How to Enter

Interested students prepare an essay on the pre-assigned topic and submit it to the Greenville Optimist Club using the attached Essay Rules and Application form. The essays are judged at the Club level, District level and the International level.


Contestants must be under the age of 19 years who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent, regardless of when the Club, Zone, or District contest is held. There is no minimum age. See the official contest rules for additional eligibility requirements. Students attending school on military installations outside the United States are eligible to enter in their last home of record. Students who have previously won an Optimist International Essay Scholarship are not eligible to compete in this competition again.

Topic: “Lead by Example: Reality or Fiction

Length of Essay: The essay must be between 700 and 800 words in length.

Prizes: Club level – medallion. Clubs are allowed to give monetary awards of up to $500 per winner for the Essay contest in addition to the official medallions. The Club level awards may be given in the form of a scholarship, savings bond or cash prize but are completely discretionary.

District level plaque and a $2,500 college scholarship for the first-place winner.

International level – First-place: winner’s plaque, recognition in The Optimist magazine.