MIA Students Win Optimist Club Essay Contest


OCMI Essay Contest winners pose with their teacher, Mr. Scalia, from left to right: Keagan Hallock, Ryan Miner, Riley Letendre, Abigail Gallup, Haylen Irvan.

Five MIA students were recently recognized for having won the Optimist Club of Marco Island’s essay contest based on the theme of “Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you Imagine?” 

First place honors went to Riley Letendre, with Haylen Irvan being awarded second place and Ryan Miner third place. In fourth place came Abigail Gallup, rounded out by Keagan Hallock in fifth place.  OCMI further awarded their efforts with certificates and checks ranging from $50 up to $250.

OCMI Club Chair, Jayme Lowe said the “prompts are never easy and the requirements are pretty strict.  They always do a great job and this year was no exception.  We had a very hard time scoring as they were all great and heartfelt.”

In addition, Letendre and Irvan’s essays will be sent to the district level to be judged along with winners from other Optimist Clubs in the district. College scholarships are available for top winners at the district level.

Optimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with 80,000 adult and youth members in 2,500 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and throughout the world. Carrying the Mission Statement “By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves.” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. 

To learn more about Optimist International, call (314) 371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at www.optimist.org.