|Will Lawson, Katie Martin, Kaleigh Watters receive recognition from Bruce Godfrey, club president|
By Sue Appleton
Each year the Optimist Club of Jasper holds an Essay Contest that is part of the Optimist International Essay Contest across America. Over 60 essays were entered in this year’s contest with the help of Debbie Roper of Pickens High School. The club’s project leader was Matt Moore who handled all the details of collecting and selecting the top essays. Club members did the initial selection with the final judging being handled by members of the Pickens County Retired Educators Association.
This year’s topic was “How Can I Help My Friends Realize Their Value?” Each of the essays was well written and thoughtful. This year’s top 3 winners were:
First Place, Kaleigh Watters who wrote:
“No matter who you are, where you are, or what you do, we all want to feel appreciated. In today’s fast-paced world, and exaggerated society, it’s easy to feel small in comparison to our surroundings. I think one of the best things that you can do as a friend is to encourage each other, and remind one another that no matter how you may feel, we all have value.”
Second Place, Will Lawson wrote:
“What makes someone feel valuable? Before we can answer that question, let’s look at the definition of valuable: ‘having qualities worthy of respect, admiration or esteem’. Many people feel valuable after making someone’s day, get a reward for something they’ve accomplished, or when they’re told that they are simply ‘worth it’. So how does one realize their value? How does one help a friend realize their value? Encouraging someone to recognize their value can either be an easy task or a daunting one.”
Third Place, Katie Martin wrote:
“My friends are very important and have great value to me, and it is imperative that they know their worth. When my friends are having a rough time, they may not realize what they are worth. As their friend, I am responsible to help them. If someone doesn’t know their value, it may lead to them making poor choices.”
The winners attended a club meeting on Thursday, March 21 at which time they read their essays and then received medals as well as monetary rewards. The gold medal winner’s essay then was sent on for the Zone level essay contest.We hope that all the essay writers learned something from the process and the topic.