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Optimist Club of Bloomington's 2016 Oratorical Contest

Since April 1956, the Optimist Club of Bloomington has organized events and raised funds to serve local youth.  The Club is a member of Optimist International.  Each year, the Club coordinates an oratorical contest that is a part of Optimist International’s international scholarship contest programs.   The Club’s oratorical contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship.  The Club works hand-in-hand with the Communications teachers at the Dakota Hills Middle School in Eagan to bring its contest to the classroom.  This year, over two hundred Dakota Hills’ seventh-graders participated in the Club’s oratorical contest.  On April 12, fourteen finalists competed in the club contest to move on to the district contest.  This year’s theme was “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others.”  I was so impressed with the poise and maturity of these seventh-graders.  The theme yielded a wide range of topics, including “Authentic Altruism,” “Low Self-Esteem,” and “Environmentalism.”  In a world of celebrity status focus and social media abuse, it was so exciting to see the next generation’s passion and innocence as they took their first shot at public speaking on topics important to them.  It takes a lot of volunteers to coordinate the contest and provide this opportunity to all of the seventh-grade students at Dakota Hills Middle School.  It is an inspiring event that is well worth the investment of a few hours of time.  You can learn more about the Club at www.bloomingtonoptimists.org and Optimist International at www.optimist.org.  If you are interested in being a part of next year’s oratorical contest, feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .     

Author; Twin Cities Business Attorney, Courtney Strean

About the Author

Twin Cities Business Attorney, Courtney Strean

Twin Cities Business Attorney, Courtney Strean

Courtney Strean (formerly Courtney Powell) was born and raised in the small town of Elysian, Minnesota. After completing her undergraduate coursework in political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Courtney moved to Minneapolis in 2001 to attend the University of Minnesota Law School. Courtney was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar in 2004. Courtney joined Stephenson, Sanford & Thone, P.L.C. as an associate attorney at the beginning of 2007 and became a member of the firm in 2012.

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