Optimist International Essay Contest

This Essay contest gives 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 and critical thinking, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship! 


Winners will receive monetary awards funded equally by BB&T Bank and the Forsyth-Cumming Optimist Club.  The funds will be deposited in a savings or checking account opened in the winner’s name at BB&T Bank.

  • 1st place winner will receive $300 and will advance to the Northeast Georgia Zone event
  • 2nd place winner will receive $200
  • 3rd place winner will receive $100

The Zone winner will advance to the State/District level. The District winner will receive a one-time $2,500 college scholarship.


Students must be under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2021.

Students must be educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. There is no minimum age.

How to Enter

Interested students may submit a completed application and essay on the assigned topic to their school or mail to:

Forsyth-Cumming Optimist Club, Essay Entry
PO Box 111
Cumming GA 30028.

Essays may NOT be submitted to more than one Optimist Club.


Please see the Essay Contest application for complete rules.


Deadline for entry TBD.


The topic for the 2021-2022 School Year is: “How Does an Optimistic Mindset Change My Tomorrow?”

Length:  700-800 words (Title page, footnotes and bibliography are not included in the final word count).  Hyphenated words count as one (1) word.

Each entry must begin with a Title page containing:

  • the official topic
  • number of words
  • the writer’s name
  • address
  • phone number
  • name of school
  • date of birth

Essays must be typewritten and double-spaced.

Essays will be judged and the winners will be announced in TBD. Winners will be invited to the club’s breakfast meeting TBD.

2020-2021 Essay Contest Winners

1st PLACE: SAMIKSHA GAHERWAR, Lambert High School  Read essay

2nd PLACE: SHIRIN DEEPAK, Denmark High School  Read essay

3rd PLACE: ADITI BANG, South Forsyth High School  Read essay

For more information please contact us.