The Optimist Club of Calvert recently announced the winners of their 2023 Oratorical contest, showcasing outstanding oratorical skills of local students.

Olivia Herrin, a student at Northern High School, was awarded first place and will advance to the Maryland South Delaware Zone 4 Competition in Hollywood, Maryland. Samuel Zolfaghari, also a student at Northern High School, took second place, while Ryan Zolfaghari of Mt. Harmony Elementary School came in third.

First place winner Olivia Herrin (Northern High School), second place winner Samuel Zolfaghari (Northern High School), and third place winner Ryan Zolfaghari (Mt. Harmony Elementary School). Credit: Krista Brezina

The annual oratorical contest, held under the theme “Discovering the Optimism Within Me” is a long-standing tradition of the Optimist Club of Calvert, providing an opportunity for local students to showcase their public speaking abilities. According to the Optimist Club of Calvert, the oratorical contest is just one of many programs and events the club hosts to empower and support local youth. The club’s mission is to “bring out the best in kids” by providing opportunities for them to grow, learn, and succeed.

A panel of local community leaders, including educators, business owners, and public officials, judged the oratorical contest.

The Optimist Club of Calvert is part of Optimist International, a worldwide organization that aims to “bring out the best in youth, in communities, and in ourselves.” The club sponsors a variety of programs and events throughout the year, including youth sports leagues, scholarship programs, and community service projects.

“As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” said Club Oratorical Chair Krista Brezina. “The Oratorical Contest challenges them to do just that and also offers an opportunity for scholarships. In this way, our club hopes to bring out the best in each of them and help them achieve their goals for the future.”

Overall, the Optimist Club of Calvert’s annual oratorical contest provides an excellent opportunity for local students to develop their public speaking skills, showcase their talents, and gain recognition for their hard work. Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s competition, and best of luck to Olivia Herrin as she continues to represent Calvert County on the statewide stage.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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