Vienna-area students lauded by Optimist Club

Laurie Cole (left) and Optimist Club of Greater Vienna president Joe Miller (right) present Ashley Tern, Christine Kim and Vi Nguyen with awards from the club's essay contest. (Photo by Adam Kincaid)

Three Vienna-area high-school students won cash prizes for their entries in the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna’s annual Essay Contest. The awards were presented at the club’s Feb. 17 meeting.

Writing on the topic “Lead by Example: Reality or Fiction,”  James Madison High School junior Christine Kim won first place and received $500 from the Optimist Club. Her essay will compete in the Optimist International Capitol-Virginia District Essay Contest, where the top prize is a $2,500 scholarship.

Ashley Tern, a junior at Oakton High School, received the second-place prize of $300. Vi Nguyen, a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology who lives in the Oakton area, was awarded third place and $200.

“The contest is designed to develop writing and critical-thinking skills,” Optimist Club president Joe Miller told the assembled contestants and family members. “That’s one of the many ways Optimists work to ‘bring out the best in kids,’ as our motto says. We are pleased that so many students took up this challenge and we are very impressed with the quality of their work.”

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna’s Essay Contest is open to students at Madison, George C. Marshall and Oakton high schools, plus  students from those attendance areas who go to Thomas Jefferson. The contest is a program of Optimist International, which sets the topic each year.

In 2015, the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna celebrated its 60th anniversary of serving youth in the community. The Essay Contest is just one of several programs the club sponsors to further its mission of “Bringing Out the Best in Kids.”

For more information about the club, its programs and membership, visit www.optimistclubofgreatervienna.org.

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