By Mike Kruzman /

Three local students have placed in an essay contest held by a local group that works to promote the power of positivity.

The Brighton Optimist Club recently awarded the winners of its essay contest based on the theme of “How does an Optimistic Mindset Change My Tomorrow?” Coming in first place, and winning $500 for his effort, was Brighton High School junior Ashton Krill.

Club President Bob Smith said, in a release, that Krill did a wonderful job articulating this year’s theme, expressing himself well, and is deserving of the first place honor.

Other prizes awarded locally went to Hartland High School student Sidney Furge, who won $200 for second place, and to Faith Duvendeck, a home school student from Milford, who received $100 for third place.

Krill’s essay will now be sent to the Michigan District Optimist competition in which it will be judged against other winners from Optimist Clubs in the lower peninsula for a chance at a college scholarship worth up to $2,500.

The Optimist International Essay Contest is one of several programs and projects the Brighton Club participates in, including an annual free fishing derby and euchre night fundraisers for non-profit causes.

To learn more about the Brighton Optimist Club call (810) 923-1480.
Visit their website at
Check out their Facebook page at

Pictured: (left to right) Smith, Furge, Krill, Devendeck, Club Treasurer Allen Walblay
Photo courtesy of Dennis Moliterno