On Wednesday, April 10, Everest Collegiate junior, Colleen Walker, was invited to participate in an honorary breakfast with the Clarkston Optimist Club. Colleen’s participation in the Optimist Club’s annual essay contest earned her a second place finish among all entrants from the surrounding area schools. This year’s essay topic read as follows: “When All the World’s Problem’s Are Solved, Is Optimism Still Necessary?” One of three student presenters, Colleen delivered an inspired and insightful composition to a captivated audience that included not only the club members, but also her family, her English teacher, Miss Mellis, as well as Mr. Reichert. At the end of the presentations, a long-time club member remarked that the three essays presented that morning were among the most impressive and inspiring he has heard during his tenure with the Optimists.

Colleen’s 770-word essay reflected the beauty of a faith-filled understanding of the value of suffering. She wrote: “We think of a world without problems as a world devoid of suffering. However, it is through suffering that we begin to appreciate the beauty of life. An optimistic person will never look back on a hard time and wish they had never gone through it. They instead, will see how those hard times turned them into a better and stronger person. In a world without suffering there becomes one looming, colossal problem: we lose our appreciation for life; we lose our reason to live.” Click here to read Colleen’s full essay!