Optimist International Essay Contest

Madalyn Lobmeyer’s Essay Wins $2500 Scholarship In Nebraska Optimist District Essay Contest


Senior, Madalyn Lobmeyer’s  essay on the topic “Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you iMagine?”  won the overall 2020 NE District Essay Contest.  For her efforts she received a medal, a certificate, and a $2500 scholarship from Optimist International.  She is the daughter of Jonathan and Amy Lobmeyer of Seward. Other state finalists were SHS seniors Garrett Erickson and Cordell Vrbka, both qualifying and representing other Optimist Clubs with their essays.   Garrett Erickson is the son of Scott and Brenda Erickson, and Cordell is the son of John and Becky Cordell.  There were 18 state finalists in the Nebraska contest and their essays were evaluated virtually by a panel of three judges in the contest.

“We are very proud of Madalyn and she is a special person to our Optimist Club!” stated Seward Optimist Essay Chair, Clark Kolterman.  “This is the first time a student from Seward has won the state essay contest and it is very rare that the same student wins both the Optimist Speech and Optimist Essay contests sponsored by the Nebraska Optimists!  She has a total of $5000 in Optimist International Scholarships as a result of her hard work and insight and we wish her well with her college career!”

The local Seward High liaison with the Seward Optimist Club essay contest is Melissa Pohl, SHS English teacher. Kolterman serves as the local Seward Optimist Club Essay Chair.

L-R: State Essay Chair and Seward Optimist Club Member, Lana Urban; Garrett Erickson; Madalyn Lobmeyer; Cordell Vrbka; Clark Kolterman, Seward Optimist Club Essay Chair.

Madalyn Lobmeyer is congratulated by State Optimist Essay Chair Lana Urban, upon winning the NE District Optimist Essay Contest.


The Essay Contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live.  In additional to developing skills for written expression, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship!  The Seward Optimist Club has participated for many years.

  • Open to any interested students under the age of 18 as of October 1 of the competition year and have not yet graduated from High School.
  • Interested students should contact the Seward Optimist Club for details on how to submit their essay as the deadline is usually early February.
  • The Seward Optimist club has sponsored one Nebraska district winner.
  • The Nebraska District Club Essay winner receives a $2500 scholarship.

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