PURPOSE
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 persons 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 win a college scholarship of up to $5,000! The essay contest awards $44,000 annually in scholarships.

HOW TO ENTER
Interested students submit essays on the preassigned topic to the Arlington Optimist Club. The essays are judged at the club level, district level, and at the international level.

ELIGIBILITY
The contest is open to students under age 18 as October 1, 2015.

TOPIC
“Lead by Example: Reality or Fiction”

LENGTH
700-800 words (Title, footnotes and bibliography are not included in the final word count.)

PRIZES
• Club level - the Arlington Optimist Club annually awards $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place in scholarships at the club
level competition.
• District level - plaque and $2,500 college scholarship for District winner.

JUDGING DEADLINES
Entries to the Arlington Optimist Club must be submitted by January 25. Please send or hand-carry essays to Erica Burson, 1816 N. Van Buren Street Arlington, VA 22205.

Club entries are judged and submitted to the District Essay Chair by February 28.
District entries are judged and submitted to the Optimist International Programs Department no later than April 15.