Optimist International Oratorical Contest

Bosmeniel Competes at National Optimist Oratorical Contest

Left to right: Seward Optimist Club President Lana Urban, Lincoln Evening Optimist Club President Melissa Thiellen, Bosmeniel and Dianne Perry-Ladely, also of the Lincoln Evening Optimist Club.

Thomas Bosmeniel, SHS Senior, competed at the International Optimist Oratorical Competition held recently at St. Louis during the International Optimist Convention in June. He presented a memorized five minute speech on optimism titled “What the World Gains from Optimism!.” He was sponsored and represented the Nebraska Optimist Clubs, winning the state Optimist Oratorical contest in the boys division, and being selected the overall representative for Nebraska. Locally he has been sponsored by the Lincoln Evening Optimist Club and the Seward Optimist Club.

Thomas won a $2500 scholarship and funds to assist his travels to St. Louis to represent Nebraska. He also was presented a checks from the Seward Optimist Club, the Lincoln Evening Optimist Club and an anonymous donation to also assist in the expenses of his trip to St. Louis.

Thomas traveled to St. Louis to compete at the International level, accompanied by his mother, Anna Downing and competed with other contestants for the International Championship from across the nation. While he did not win the contest, he was recognized for an outstanding presentation/performance., receiving certificates and numerous mementos of the competition.

“I really have enjoyed the experience representing Optimists and sharing my message on the value of being optimistic in our society!” stated Bosmeniel. “I have been honored to have the support of so many Nebraskan’s and very proud to have represented Nebraska, and Seward High School in this competition. This has been a real life changing experience for me and I will always be grateful for this opportunity.”

Bosmeniel will address and present his award winning speech on Optimism at the state Optimist Conference to be held on August 5 in South Sioux City, Nebraska. He was sponsored at the state contest by the Lincoln Evening Optimist Club and the Seward Optimist Club!


The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives students the chance to speak to the world. More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundations is awarded annually from this program.  The Seward Optimist Club has participated for many years and has had several $2500 winners in the past!

  • 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 in January or February for details on how to participate.
  • One female and one male are chosen as Seward Optimist Club winners, who will then compete in the Nebraska Oratorical Optimist Contest normally held at Grand Island Northwest HS the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in April.
  • The Nebraska District Optimist Contest awards a $2500 scholarship for 1st place, $350 for 2nd place, and $250 for 3rd place in both female and male divisions. The overall Nebraska Optimist State Oratorical Champion will represent Nebraska at the National/International Optimist Speech Contest held in St. Louis in June or July.

Comments are closed.