Oratorical World Champion!

Congratulations Samiksha Gaherwar

The Seventh Annual Optimist International World Championships took place at St. Louis University on July 21-22, 2022. Samiksha Gaherwar participated in the contest as the Oratorical winner from the GATEway District. Samiksha graduated from Lambert High School and was the Valedictorian. She plans to attend Princeton University. She has been participating the the oratorical contest for 8 years.

The schedule of events began on Wednesday evening with a “Welcome” mixer for participants and guests. The regional contests began on Thursday morning. The Southeast Region contest was at 12:00 pm (CT) and the regional winners were announced the next morning. The winners of each region will receive a $5,000 scholarship. There were a total of 81 participants in the regional contests. Countries represented in the Oratorical contest were: USA, Canada, Jamaica, South Korea, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Nepal, and Haiti.

The World Championship contest began soon after the 9 regional winners were announced on Friday morning.

Samiksha was Speaker A for the contest.

After all 9 participants completed their speeches, everyone anxiously waited for the announcement of the winners. We were all elated when it was announced that Samiksha was the World Champion and would receive a $15,000 scholarship.

“Samiksha is a remarkable young woman and her family is wonderful. Samiksha’s perseverance—having participated in the Oratorical Contest for 8 years and finally winning it all—is a great lesson for others to follow. Like Samiksha, we should never give up working to make our dreams come true. As she heads to college in the fall, we wish her the very best in all her future endeavors”

Dave Bruns, Past International President and International Scholarship Chair

The GATEway District congratulates Samiksha and look forward to hearing great things from her in the future!

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