2021-2022 Contest Participants

The 2022 Oratorical contest was held at Il Forno Classico Restaurant in Gold River. This was due to remaining restrictions due to the pandemic.

Participants: Lily Arbizo, 1st Place; Siddhartha Poddar 2nd Place; Mariana Lidell, 3rd Place; 

Other participants included: Justus Clark; Henry Rucker; Wesley Wakabayashi; Santine Zamora; Karsten Mills

Eight students participated this year. Some were new and some returning. The topic for this year was, “Healing the World with Optimism”. Thank you to the judges, Optimist members Paul Kelley, Nick Scelsa & Joe DiMaggio along with member Frank Pogacar for keeping time. Additional gratitude goes to Scotty, owner of Il Forno Classico for donating the venue (and providing fantastic appetizers) and Optimist members Stephen James & Nick Scelsa for organizing the event. We look forward to seeing the students again next year.

2020 Contest Participants

The oratorical contest took place via Zoom on Saturday, February 6th. There were 11 students participating and things went rather well. Big thanks to Mr. Michael Holt from Albert Einstein Middle School Academy who moderated the event.

For the first time we had a tie for 1st & 2nd place. As such, prize money for 1st & 2nd place was added together and split evenly between the two students. They were Emilia Yang and Siddhartha Poddar who received $375 each and Justin Clark in 3rd place who received $100. The top two students moved onto the district contest which took Place May 1st also via zoom. Unfortunately the club’s two representatives did not advance any further. Oh well, there’s always next year!

Thank you to all the students who participated, the club members who volunteered their time to put on this year’s event and a special thank you to Mr. Michael Holt from Albert Einstein Middle School Academy who ran and moderated the Zoom event!

Grant Bell; Eden Getahun; Rohit Jhawar; Swara Karke; Austin Maples; Zack Maples; Ninu Krishnan; Kieu Anh Nguyen; Siddhartha Poddar; Emilia Yang

1st Place – Kieu Anh Nguyen

2nd Place- Ninu Krishnan

3rd Place – Emilia Yang

2019 Contest Participants

  • Emilia Yang, 1st Place
  • Grant Bell, 2nd Place
  • Khodijah Atthar, 3rd Place
  • Swang Karke, 4th Place

The 2019 oratorical contest attracted 4 participants this year. Consequently, a cash prize was awarded to all instead of the top 3 finishers. Additionally, the venue where we normally hold the contest was not available so it was held at the club’s weekly fellowship meeting location; Lucca Restaurant in Sacramento. Emilia Yang and Grant Bell moved on to participated in the zone contest where either failed to place and move on to the district contest. Fortunately, both students can participate next year. Our club looks forward to seeing the students again.

Participants in the 2018 oratorical contest:

  • Aubreuelle Joy Arrington
  • Crystal Chan
  • Grant Bell
  • Juliet Johnson
  • Kaitlin Raymond
  • Maya Solis
  • Molly Martin
  • Rohit Jhaur
  • Vivian Stacy
  • Yutka Gutta

The top 3 speeches for 2018 were submitted by:

1. Juliet Johnson
2. Kaitlin Raymond
3. Grant Bell

sacramento optimist club oratorical 2018
First Place
sacramento optimist club oratorical 2018
Second Place
sacramento optimist club oratorical 2018
Third Place

Congratulations to Juliet Johnson for placing first in the 2018 Optimist Club of Sacramento oratorical contest! By placing 1st at the club level, Juliet advanced to the zone level competition held on March 17, 2018. Unfortunately Juliet had a conflict on that date so she would not attend. This gave an opportunity to 2nd place, Kaitlin Raymond to participate but she also had a conflict. Grant Bell who came in 3rd place was next in succession but alas, he too had a conflict. Consequently, our club did not have a participant in the zone level competition.

A look at a winning Oratorical Contest speech

Topic for the 2016-2017 School Year: “What the World Gains from Optimism”

Listen to Riley’s winning speech!


optimist oratorical contest
Riley Burke from McClatchy High School, 2017 Oratorical Contest: Club Winner, Zone Winner and Regional Winner! Now on to International Competition.


optimist club sacramento oratorical contest top 3
2017 Oratorical Contest, Top 3 winners at the Club Level, February 2017
February 22, 2017: Contest #2 at Club Level


February 8, 2017: Contest #1 at the Club Level