Optimist Club offers opportunities for high school students

The Optimist Club of Sussex County is offering three opportunities for high school students this upcoming school year. The Optimists’ mission is to provide hope and positive vision by bringing out the best in youth, local communities and themselves. As part of this mission, students will be able to participate in events that will promote an active interest in civic affairs, promote service and give students a voice in the world around them.

The first of three activities is the Optimist Essay Contest sponsored by Optimist International, designed to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live.

The topic for the 2018-2019 school year is “When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?” Youth younger than 19 as of Oct. 1 can enter the event through their schools. Students will need to submit an essay by Oct. 29 to their local school, and the top three essays will win a medallion and monetary award. The top essay will be forwarded to the Optimist district level to compete for a $2,500 college scholarship.

“Youth Appreciation Day,” held on Oct. 30 in Georgetown, is the next Optimist activity. The full-day event will give young people the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about their local government.

Each school in Sussex County may select two high school students in 11th or 12th grade to meet with lawyers, the County Administration, attend a County Council meeting and view a trial in the Court of Common Pleas. Students will provide their own transportation to the event, and the deadline, which involves a completed form, is Oct. 17.

The Optimist Club of Sussex County will also sponsor the Optimist Oratorical Contest this year, designed for youth to gain experience in public speaking and provide them the opportunity to compete for college scholarships.

The topic this year — “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism & Reality?” — has students competing at the local, district, regional and possibly international levels, where both medallions and monetary awards may be given.

Information on the contest will be shared with all schools in early January 2019, so that students can prepare to compete in early March at the Sussex County club level. Students who are interested in finding out more information on the event can visit the Optimist International website at www.optimist.org.

Information on all events has been sent to local public and private schools in Sussex County, but anyone who has questions can email the Sussex County Optimist Club at SussexOptimist@gmail.com.

All Sussex County residents who would like to promote optimism and help children develop to their full potential are being invited to join the club at a monthly meeting held the first and third Mondays of each month at J.D. Shuckers in Georgetown from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.