Programs for Youth

Optimist Clubs deliver youth programs to the youth in your community. Learn about the international programs and local youth projects that are sponsored.

Internet Safety

Optimist International has partnered with the Internet Keep Safe Coalition to address issues of internet safety as children use the Internet. Optimists have worked with the folks from to prepare a fantastic internet safety training program for youth and parents.

Childhood Cancer Campaign

Optimists have become a champion for those dealing with childhood cancer. Through this unique program, Optimists are building awareness of the disease that kills more youth than any other cause. In addition, Members provide support for children with cancer and their families, and support research to find a cure. Find out how you can help today.

Find out more about the Childhood Cancer Campaign

Junior Optimist & Octagon International (JOOI) - Clubs 4 Kids

As a teen, did you have a venue to learn skills such as citizenship, teamwork, communication, self-esteem and leadership? Kids do today! Thanks to the Optimists' JOOI program, more than 16,000 young people each year learn the importance of volunteerism and giving of one's self. As a result, teens report feeling an improved sense of kindness, increased awareness for those in need, and a better sense of coping with cultural diversity. Start a JOOI Club today!.

Find out more about the Clubs 4 Kids

Junior Golf

As one of junior golf's most prestigious events, the OIJGC provides a uinque opportunity for junior golfers from around the globe. Every year thousands of young people compete in local Optimist qualifying tournamets. The top finishers advance to the OIJGC. Past Optimist junior golf participants include Tiger Woods, Michelle McGann, Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard.

Find out more about Junior Golf

 Juvenile Curling

Quickly growing into one of juvenile curling’s most prestigious events, the Optimist International U-18 Curling Championship provides a unique opportunity for under-18 curlers from around the globe to compete in an international competition.

 Originally sponsored and initiated in Alberta, the Optimist International U-18 Curling Championship has been recently recognized as a sanctioned Optimist International youth program.

Find out more about Juvenile Curling

Essay Competition

This contest presents young people the opportunity to write about their opinions regarding the world in which they live. Optimist International awards each District contest winner a $650 scholarship for advanced education. Essays are judged at the international level, and a first, second and third place scholarship is awarded.

  Find out more about Essay Competition

Oratorical Competition

As Optimist International's oldest program, this contest allows young adults to gain experience in public speaking on a pre-assigned topic. Optimist Districts have the opportunity to provide two $1,500 college scholarships, or a first place scholarship of $1,500, a second place scholarship of $1,000 and a third place scholarship of $500.

  Find out more about the Oratorical Competition

Kids Speak Out

This program prepares elementary school children for future Oratorical competitions. Although winners are normally selected, emphasis is placed on making all contestants feel like a winner for just participating!

  Find out more about the Kids Speak Out Program

Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH)

The CCDHH contest provides the opportunity for young people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate in a public forum while developing valuable skills and confidence. The Optimist International Foundations annualy fund a $1,500 scholarship for wach Optimist International District. Many Districts donate an additional $1,500 to the foundation to provide a second scholarship.

  Find out more about the CCDHH Competition

Respect for Law & Day of Non-Violence

Encourage peace and harmony within your community! Optimists accomplish this feat by honoring law enforcement officials, initiating black parent programs, sponsoring finderprinting fairs, and starting neighborhood watches. Anything to keep children safe in their neighborhoods!

Tri-Star Sports

Bring together the youth of your community in the spirit of fun competition! The tri-Star program offers exciting opportunities to promote self-confidence and physical-fitness, even if your Club has limited resources. Since this program does not involve physical contact or advanced skill, it is the ideal activity for every child including those with special needs.

  Find out more about the Tri-Star Sports Program

Youth Safety

Keeping children safe in their leisure activities has been an important part of Optimist programs for many years. The Optimist International Youth Safety Program encompasses all of the activities originally included in the Safety on Wheels and Always Buckle Children programs as well as new activities concerning internet Safety. Help spread the work about safety!

  Find out more about the Youth Safety Program

Youth Appreciation Week

Build local students' self-esteem! Recognize their talents in the arts, athletics, academics and their contribution to the community. How? By celebrating Youth Appreciation Week! To honour local youth, Optimists have successfully hosted swim parties, sponsored crazy bowls, planned youth lock-ins, chaperoned field trips, and provided funds for school supplies. This program encompasses anything that makes a difference in the life of a young person.

  Find out more about Youth Appreciation Week