Optimist International’s MoBay chapter uplifting youths
The Optimist International club may not be very well known in Jamaica, but its Montego Bay chapter is showcasing its mandate to promote a positive outlook through its outreach to young people.
The Custom-Made Optimist Club of Montego Bay, which is a branch of the 100-year-old volunteer organisation, demonstrated this vision recently through an awards ceremony for 17-year-old member Victoria Campbell, a Grade-11 student of Mt Alvernia High School.
Campbell claimed first place in the local chapter's division of the international club's essay-writing contest.
She got a first-place medal and a J$10,000 book voucher from Sangster's Book Stores for her win.
Campbell expressed gratitude for the opportunity to write her essay, which was done under the theme 'When all the world's problems are solved, is optimism is still necessary?'
"I got news about this competition from my English teacher. She introduced this to me because she saw that I had potential," said Campbell, who aspires to become a doctor. "I was a little nervous when I submitted the essay, and I was like, 'Will I win this?' But I am very happy, and I thank the Lord for allowing this to happen to me."
Jacinth Mighty, president of the club, said her organisation is doing all it can through community outreach to uphold the mandate of the wider Optimist International, which has 3,000 clubs across 20 countries.
She noted that the club, formed on June 26, 2018, is still less than a year old.
"But we're trying to bring awareness about optimism as a way of life and trying to give to our youths," said Mighty. "This is one of the projects we try to do, because we have done a Christmas treat at Garlands Basic School and the Rodlin Fisher Basic School in Granville, and we have gone to the Melody Home for Girls, where we gave back-to-school things in August."