The Optimist Club of Nebraska City is encouraging local students to compete in an essay contest for a $2,500 scholarship.

The Optimist Club is sponsoring the 2015-2016 Optimist International Essay Contest. According to a press release from the Optimist Club, the contest was created to “develop students’ writing and critical thinking skills and provide an opportunity for local students to compete for a scholarship.”
Students must write a 700- to 800-word essay based on the theme “Lead by Example: Reality or Fiction” to qualify for the contest.

The top three essay winners will be recognized at the local level by the Nebraska City Optimist Club with an awards ceremony and cash prize.

The first-place essay will be entered in the Optimist International Nebraska District competition, where the district-level winner will earn the $2,500 scholarship.

All of the essays will be judged on material organization, grammar, vocabulary and style, neatness, punctuation and spelling and adherence to the contest’s rules. Full contest rules are available on the application form. Essays and application forms must be postmarked by Jan. 25, 2016. The contest winner will be announced in March.

For more information or to get an application, contact Optimist Club of Nebraska City Essay Committee Chairperson Katie Mocnik at (402) 873-7065 or email her at