It’s likely not the way 2020 high school seniors wanted to end their secondary education, but for 12 area seniors, they’ll at least have a little money to help defray some college expenses. The Optimist Club of Malibu has awarded the 12 exemplary students with scholarships, each worth $1,000. 

“Each year, when we collect our applications, we are amazed at how much the kids do in high school before they graduate—the extracurricular, community service activities they’re putting in is just amazing compared to when I was in high school,” scholarship chairperson Frank Brady of the Malibu Optimist Club said. One-third of the score is based on grades. This year, 10 of the 12 award winners are 4.0 students. Many of them have participated in high school sports. One student, who had to leave Malibu High School for another school after the Woolsey Fire, continued to participate in some MHS club activities. 

Typically, the Optimists throw a formal awards breakfast for the recipients, their families and educators, complete with a master of ceremonies. This year, with the novel coronavirus pandemic causing all gatherings to be banned, the Optimists unfortunately had to postpone any event. 

“We had to do everything by email,” according to Brady. “We do hope to be able to something—an online event possibly later on in the year.” If an internet musical event for middle schoolers goes well for the club this week, they will try to put an online awards ceremony in place to recognize the high school scholarship winners.

Optimist scholarships are available to students who either live in zip codes 90263, 90264 or 90265; attend Malibu High School; or are the son/daughter of an Optimist Club of Malibu member in good standing. There is no preference given to the children of club members. The students who submit applications are reviewed based on grades, extracurricular activities and community service.

The Optimist Club of Malibu has been offering scholarships to high school graduates since the early 1960s.

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