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Oratorical Contest

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. The winners at the Club level receive medallions and Zone winners receive a plaque. Districts have the opportunity to provide a first place scholarship of $2,500, a second-place scholarship of $1,500, and a third-place scholarship of $1,000.

2024 Oratorical Contest 

Topic:  “How to Change the World with Optimism”

Who: Junior High School and High School students, under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2023 (and not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution) in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. There is no minimum age.

How To Enter: Interested students submit a written speech on the pre-assigned topic to the Clarkston Area Optimist Club, along with a completed application:



Submit both the written oratorical and a completed application, by the entry deadline either via email to: [email protected] or by sending via USPS to: Clarkston Area Optimist Club, P.O. Box 891, Clarkston, MI 48347.

Each contestant will be required to give their speech live, following the rules of the Oratorical Contest listed in the application. Date(s). Location and date of the local Clarkston Oratorical Contest is: 

For more information, contact our Club at: [email protected] or by contacting the Club Oratorical chairperson Don Brose at 248-736-8833 or email: [email protected]