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Several St. Mary’s Catholic School students participated and won the Rio Communities Optimist Club’s essay contest. Pictured, from left, Optimist Chuck Werkmeister, Sara Martinez, Lisette Sanchez, Samantha Jaramillo and Optimist Sallie Rizzo.

RIO COMMUNITIES — The Rio Communities Optimist Club sponsored an essay contest to support youth in developing their skills in written expression and personal perspective. They also had an opportunity to win a college scholarship.

The assigned topic was, “Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you Imagine?” Twenty-five students from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Belen participated in the contest.

The winners were Samantha Jaramillo, first place; Lisette Sanchez, second place; and Sara Martinez, third place.

The essay winner now advances to the district contest to compete for a $2,500 college scholarship funded by the Optimist International Foundations. All contestants were given a certification of participation.

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