Marisa Lancaster '17 and Graci Homany '17 winners in Maltz Museum's Stop the Hate Essay Contest
Congratulations to Marisa Lancaster '17 and Graci Homany '17, the first- and third-place seventh-grade winners in the 2012 Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out! essay contest sponsored by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Read Marisa's essay here and Graci's essay here.
A press release issued by the Maltz Museum, including the full list of winners, is posted below. For more information, please visit the museum's website.
$100,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS & PRIZES AWARDED TO NORTHEAST OHIO STUDENTS
Martin Luther King Jr. High School Student Wins Essay Contest Grand Prize
April 23, 2012 (Cleveland, OH) Severance Hall was once again full of excitement as the fourth annual “Stop The Hate: Youth Speak Out!” essay contest awarded a four-year $50,000 scholarship to Grand Prize winner Gabrielle Jones, a 12th grade student at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. Hannah Schmidt of Brush High School and Jane Kim of Beaumont High School received first and second runner up four-year scholarships, $25,000 and $15,000 respectively. Twenty-one other students in grades 6-12 received awards (see below). The event was presented by Dealer Tire and KeyBank, and featured special guest speaker Gary Waters, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Cleveland State University, with remarks from Museum co-founder Milton Maltz, Executive Director Judi Feniger, KeyBank District President Lisa Oliver and Musical Arts Association Chairman Richard Bogomolny.
1,800 students from seven eligible counties – Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit – shared their stories by submitting essays this year. Juniors and seniors were eligible for the three scholarship prizes. The top ten finalists, who achieved the highest scores on the written essays, made up less than 1% of the total essays received. Created by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, “Stop The Hate: Youth Speak Out!” asks students to describe an act of discrimination, reflect on their own response and write a 500-word essay with a plan of action to affect change. Essays are then scored on content, writing, originality and creativity, and utilization of the theme of personal responsibility. Nearly 6,500 essays have been received in the contest’s first four years.
At the dramatic Awards Ceremony, each finalist read his or her essay aloud for final scoring by a blue-ribbon panel of judges:
Steven Dettelbach - US Attorney for Northern Ohio
Rick Jackson - Reporter and Program Host, Ideastream
Rabbi Sharon Young Marcus - President, Greater Cleveland Board of Rabbis/Associate Rabbi Park Synagogue
Victor Ruiz - Executive Director, Esperanza
Debra Adams Simmons - Editor, The Plain Dealer
Alexander Stojsavljevic - 2011 Stop the Hate Grand Prize Winner
Paramjit Singh - Trustee, Federation of India Community Associations of Northeast Ohio
Cindy Yu - Associate Director, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
The essays addressed a variety of issues, from racism and ethnic discrimination to sexuality, mental illness, special needs and cyberbullying.
New to the ceremony this year, WKYC Channel 3 Weekend News Anchor and Education Reporter Kim Wheeler served as Master of Ceremonies. She was a judge for the competition in 2010. The event featured performances by the Horizon Science Academy Army Junior ROTC Color Guard, Shaw High School Cheerleaders, and East Cleveland Heritage Middle School Jazz ensemble, ushers were from Cleveland Heights High School Renaissance School, and culinary students from the Ranger Café @ West Shore Career-Technical District provided desserts for the reception. Students from Sunbeam School and Glenville High School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District performed Retro Raps, performances expressing their thoughts on stopping discrimination, hatred and violence through music.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Grand Prize (four-year $50,000 scholarship)
Gabrielle Jones – Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, Cleveland
First Runner-Up (four-year $25,000 scholarship)
Hannah Schmidt – Brush High School, Lyndhurst
Second Runner-Up (four-year $15,000 scholarship)
Jane Kim – Beaumont High School, Cleveland Heights
Honorable Mentions ($1,000 cash prize)
Telayne Keith – Our Lady of the Elms High School, Akron
Sarah Krafcik – Padua Franciscan High School, Parma
Rachel Lieberman – Orange High School
Bryan Naelitz – Marion L. Steele High School, Amherst
Zachary Schwartz – Solon High School
Ciera L. West – Whitney Young High School, Cleveland
Allyson Zabell – Orange High School
6th – 10th Grade Division cash prizes
$300 First Prize: Corinne Sinclair, Cleveland Heights High School
$200 Second Prize: Adrian Berr, Cleveland Heights High School
$100 Third Prize: Mayam Assar, Cleveland Heights High School
$300 First Prize: Zachary Kenna, Stowe-Munroe Falls High School
$200 Second Prize: Josh Chernomorets, Solon High School
$100 Third Prize: Hailey Delphia LaFrance, Kenston High School, Bainbridge
$300 First Prize: Julia Jantz, Learwood Middle School, Avon Lake
$200 Second Prize: Lucy Grierson, Rocky River Middle School
$100 Third Prize: Sapir Flank, Fuchs Mizrachi of Cleveland High School, Beachwood
$300 First Prize: Marisa Lancaster, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights
$200 Second Prize: Arjun Ramachandran, Solon Middle School
$100 Third Prize: Graci Homany, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights
$300 First Prize: Srikar Dudipala, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School
$200 Second Prize: Brian Luck, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School
$100 Third Prize: Micah Stark, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School