The Santa Barbara Northside Optimist Club held its annual Oratorical Contest, which was open to all students under age 16 as of Jan. 1. This year’s topic was “Cyber Communication: Progress or Problem?”

Daria Etezadi of Laguna Blanca School and Zachary Sener of San Marcos High won First Place Gold Medals in the girls’ and boys’ competitions, respectively. With their wins, they’re qualified to compete in the Area Contest in San Luis Obispo. The winner of the Area competition will be eligible to compete at the District level, where the winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

“Everyone did a wonderful job presenting their views on a very important and serious topic,” said Michelle Profant, president of the Santa Barbara Northside Optimist Club. “The members of our Optimist Club have no doubt that all contestants have a bright future ahead of them.”

Olivia Berci and Andrew McCaffery won Second Place Silver medals representing Laguna Blanca and Third Place Bronze medals went to Melissa Marino of San Marcos and Justin Shand of Laguna Blanca.

A big thank you goes to Santa Barbara Toastmasters for providing contest judges Bob Francone, Joy Kelly and Paul Lamberton.

For students, parents or teachers wishing to find out about next year’s contest, contact Michelle Profant at 805.968.8015.