Optimist Club Awards students $11,000 in scholarships

The Optimist Club awarded 11 graduating high school seniors $1,000 scholarships. Ten of the students were from Malibu High School, and one was from Viewpoint School in Calabasas. 

“The Optimist Club of Malibu has given out scholarships to graduating seniors for 60 years,” Scholarship Program Chair Marie Wexler said. “Over the past 24 years, the Optimist Club of Malibu has awarded $282,000 in scholarships.” 

The criteria to receive the scholarships is based one-third on the student’s grade point average, one-third on their extracurricular activities and one-third on their community service activities.

The scholarship recipients are Nate Folkerts, Stefan Colburn, Leila Iredell, Annika Bolander, Maya Mellberg, Jaz Abbey, Nicole Reynaga, Sacha Toberoff (Viewpoint), Yadany Alavez and India Cortese. Student Nina Berglund was missing among the students awarded.

Chartered in 1960, the Optimist Club of Malibu’s original mission was to provide positive role models and mentors to the young men of Malibu. The motto at that time was “Friend of the Boy.“

“Today’s motto,’Friend of Youth’ embraces the inclusive nature of our local community and of our club,” the club’s website (malibuoptimists.org) says. “We still continue to serve the children of Malibu but now include the youth in Camp Miller in the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains as well as a co-sponsor of the 100-plus-year-old Optimist Youth Home in Eagle Rock, California.”


The Optimist Club’s mission is to provide hope and a positive vision, and bring out the best in kids. Optimists will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and help them develop to their full potential. For more information on the organization visit malibuoptimists.org.

Editors note: The story was updated to correct a students last name and include the name of a student who was unable to attend the ceremony.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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