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JAO Essay Contest Topic Announced

The Japanese American Optimist Club is accepting applications for its annual high school essay contest, whose theme is “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges.”

Students of all backgrounds are welcome to apply. They need only be 18 years old or younger as of Oct. 1, 2016.

Last year, Alexander Nakagawa of South Pasadena High School won a $2,500 college scholarship from the Optimist International Foundation after taking top honors first in the JAO club contest and then in the Pacific Southeast District level contest.

The essay contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to express their own opinions about the world.

The application deadline is Jan. 9, 2017. Contest applications and rules are available at

For more information, contact Teresa Watanabe at or (213) 265-6813.

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