School News

Local Student Wins Optimist Club Essay Contest


Amarion Anderson, a senior at Manning High School, recently won the Optimist Club of Clarendon’s essay contest based on a theme of “Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you iMagine?”  He was recognized for his-first place achievement by club president, Lisa Justice, and vice-president, Johnny Weeks, at the club’s meeting on April 15 at Porter Jacks Restaurant in Manning.  

Anderson was awarded a medallion and certificate for his efforts. He also received a $200 scholarship prize from the club, given towards any educational costs Anderson may incur as he enrolls at Full Sail University in Florida this fall.  He plans to major in Game Design, a long-time dream that he wrote about in his essay.  Amarion and his family joined club members, and he was able to present his essay to a live audience.  He is the son of Glinda Brock of Manning.  In addition, Anderson’s essay was 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.  

“Amarion did an excellent job of articulating this year’s theme.  He expressed his optimism, future plans, and life goals throughout the essay.  He definitely deserved the honor of first place,” Club President Lisa Justice said.  The Club was very proud of all of the participants and entries this year for sharing their perspectives.  

The Optimist Club of Clarendon has been participating in the Optimist International Essay Contest for four years and has been active in the community since 2017.  Despite the CoVID-19 pandemic, the Club has continued to support kids and youth in the Clarendon area. Service projects that the Club is involved in include this year’s #GoBlueClarendon campaign for awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month, sponsoring families through the Holiday season as well as donating gifts to Turbeville Children’s Home.  Members are hopeful that they can return to more visible events this Fall, such as the Striped Bass Festival and Breakfast with Santa. The Club raises money through donations to the Optimist Outlet re-sale booth at Bonanza Flea Market in Jordan and other charity drives.  

Optimist International is one of the world’s largest volunteer 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, please call (314) 371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at  Locally, you can find more information about the Optimist Club of Clarendon through their Facebook page or by contacting President Lisa Justice, 803-473-2531.  The Club usually meets on the second Thursday of every month, but a change this week will have them at Porter Jacks Restaurant on May 20 at 6:00.  


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