William Shaw, a senior at Manning High School, recently won the Optimist Club of Clarendon's essay contest based on a theme of "When All the World's Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?"
He was recognized for his first-place achievement by club President Brittany Tindal at the club's meeting on March 14 at Porter Jacks Restaurant.
Shaw was awarded a medallion and certificate for the honor. He received a $100 scholarship prize, given toward any educational costs Shaw may incur as he enrolls at Winthrop University this fall. In addition, Shaw's essay will be sent to the district level to be judged along with winners from other Optimist Clubs in the South Carolina district. College scholarships are available for top winners at the district level.
Also recognized by the Optimist Club of Clarendon were second-place essayist Alyssa Gottheiner, a junior at Laurence Manning Academy, and third-place writer Elizabeth McInnis, a senior at Laurence Manning Academy.
"William did a wonderful job of articulating this year's theme. He expressed himself well throughout the essay and deserved the honor of first place," Tindal said. "The club was very proud of all of the participants and entries this year for sharing their perspectives of optimism as young people."
The Optimist Club of Clarendon has been participating in the Optimist Essay Contest for two years and has been active in the community since 2017. Other programs and service projects that the club is involved in include Breakfast with Santa, supporting the local Special Olympics team and sponsoring campers at Camp Woodie in the summer. In April, club members will host a children's activity area at Birdfest in Panola. The club raises money through donations to the Optimist Outlet at Bonanza Flea Market in Jordan and other charity drives.