Optimist Club of Malibu honors winners of essay contest

(From left) Program chair Mona Kyle, third-place winner Kylie Epstein, second-place winner Payton Pollack, and first-place winner Chloe Loquet pose together at the Optimist Club of Malibu Essay Contest Awards Ceremony. Photos courtesy Mona Kyle.

Malibu High junior Chloe Loquet wins first place, earns right to compete for $2,500 scholarship

Staff Report

The Optimist Club of Malibu just concluded the 2023-2024 Optimist International Essay Scholarship Competition with an Awards Ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 29. Eight students from Malibu High School entered the competition by submitting essays on the official topic “Optimism: How it Connects Us.” The Optimist International Essay Contest is divided into two levels of competition: Club (preliminary contest) and District (scholarship competition). The winner of the local club contest, in this case the Optimist Club of Malibu, advances to the District Scholarship Competition.

Optimist Club of Malibu 2024
(From left) Optimist Club of Malibu essay contest third-place winner Kylie Epstein, Malibu High English teacher Bonnie Thoreson, essay contest second-place winner Payton Pollack, essay contest first-place winner Chloe Loquet, and MHS Principal Patrick Miller pose for a photo at the Awards Ceremony. Photos courtesy Mona Kyle.

The essays were judged by a panel of three judges who were not acquainted with the contestants. The judges were:

Joshua Corrigan, screenwriter who graduated from MHS and earned his degree in dramatic writing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Theresa M. Flynn, professor of teaching of composition and director of the Writing Center at Pepperdine University 

Maire Mullins, professor of English and holds Blanche E. Seaver Chair of English Literature at Pepperdine University.

The top three scorers are all juniors at MHS:

Chloe Loquet – 1st Place ($300 cash prize)

Payton Pollack – 2nd Place ($200 cash prize)

Kylie Epstein – 3rd Place ($100 cash prize)

Chloe Loquet, as the first-place winner, earned the right to compete at the District level for a $2,500 college scholarship.