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First Quarter 2018-2019
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MDSD District
Carousel Hotel Ocean City, MD
April 26-28, 2019 11700 Coastal Hwy Ocean City, MD 21842 800-641-0011 Cut off Date for Hotel Reservations March 26, 2019

District Programs
Optimist International Oratorical Contest

Topic for the 2018-2019 School Year is: “Is Their a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality.”

Who: Students under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2018 of the current Optimist International contest year (October 1-September 30) and is not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution.  Districts and Clubs wil hold combined gender contests.

How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic to their local Optimist Club. To find out the contact in your area, please e-mail the Programs Department at


The deadline to enter is determined by the sponsoring Optimist Club. All Club-level contests are typically held by late March.

Clubs and Districts
The District deadline to submit winners to Optimist International is May 15, 2019. Optimist International does not set Club/Zone/Regional deadlines.

Distric Oratorical Funding Distributions
The following allocation for District Oratorical scholarship awards are effective October 1, 2018.  First Place: $2500
Second Place:  $1500  Third Place:  $1000

For an application with contest rules, click here

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 two $2,500 scholarships or a first place scholarship of $2,500, a second place scholarship of $1,500, and a third place scholarship of $1,000.

More Details »
This contest requires students under 19 as of October 1, 2018 and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean to compose a 700- to 800-word essay around a central idea. The contest is designed to develop writing and critical thinking skills. One scholarship of $2,500 per District is awarded by Optimist International each year.

View Details HOBY
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The most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves. Inspired by Albert Schweitzer words, Hugh Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) has sought out, recognized and developed leadership potential in high school sophomores for more than 50 years. In order to continue this mission in Maryland, we need the support of concerned citizens like you.

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The Oratorical Contest is open to students under 19 as of October 1, 2018 and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Students are required to prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on a pre-assigned topic. This contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship.


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