The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage has announced the top 25 finalists for the 11th Annual Stop the Hate Youth Speak Out essay writing contest.
The contest winners will be named live at the award ceremony, to be held on Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The event is free and open to the public. To register to attend (which is encouraged to guarantee seating), call 216-593-0575 or visit maltzmuseum.org.
As part of the essay writing contest, students are asked to consider the benefits of a more inclusive society, the consequences of intolerance, and the role of personal responsibility in effecting change. Issues students are confronted with and are fighting against include racism, abelsim, homophobia, xenophobia, and others.
Through the generosity of a donor, the Maltz Museum annually awards $100,000 in recognition of sixth through 12th grade upstanders. In 2019, the amount awarded to students and schools participating in Stop the Hate will total $1.1 million. An estimated 30,000+ students have participated across 12 counties in Northeast Ohio since the contest was launched, giving young people a platform to use their voices to speak out against hate and stand up for inclusion.
The contest offers students the chance to win individual scholarship money, but also for schools to receive money for anti-bias education.
The top 25 finalists for 2019 Stop the Hate Youth Speak Out are:
Top 10 Juniors & Seniors, competing for grand prize of $40,000 in scholarship money
- Heavenlee Alamo, grade 12, James Ford Rhodes High School
- Marcie Baker, grade 12, West Geauga High School
- Alexa Furukawa, grade 11, Revere High School
- Alan Goodloe, grade 12, Hudson High School
- Mackenzie Lee, grade 12, Hawken School
- Samuel Oguntoyinbo, grade 12, Solon High School
- Priyanka Shrestha, grade 11, Beachwood High School
- Mathilde Tomter, grade 12, Beaumont School
- Kennon Walton, grade 11, University School
- Emma Witt, grade 12, Berkshire High School
Grades 6-10 competing for $400 awards, by grade
- Gabriella Censoprano, Hudson Middle School
- Elise Fletcher, St. Barnabas School
- Mallory Schenkenberger, Hudson Middle School
- Kamryn von Kunsay, Learwood Middle School
- Arianna Preston, Beachwood Middle School
- Veronica Schwartz, Beachwood Middle School
- Gigi Konrad, Rocky River Middle School
- Gianna Miller, Rocky River Middle School
- Aparna Srikanth, Solon Middle School
- Jenny Fu, Mayfield High School
- Ilana Miller, Mayfield High School
- Mykenna Roy, Mayfield High School
- Andrew Oscarson, Hudson High School
- Nathan Trost, Hudson High School
- Abigail Wilkov, Solon High School
The scholarship winners will be named live at the award ceremony on March 14 when Stop the Hate Youth Sing Out winners will also perform.
The Maltz Museum partners with Roots of American Music (ROAM) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to celebrated the voices of young people standing up to bias and bigotry through the annual Stop the Hate Youth Sing Out contest held in November and December of 2018. An estimated 1,000+ students from 18 middle school classes and 27 high school classes representing 16 different schools participated this academic year, to pen and perform original songs.
This annual program sharpens written and oral language skills while fostering a deeper understanding of historic human rights events as an arts-integrated learning initiative. Students visit the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for a Stop the Hate tour. They reflect on what they’ve learned, consider bias they’ve experienced in their own lives, and discuss how to use their voice to be an upstander. Students then return to their classrooms where they partner with a ROAM musician who works with them to write an original song. The songs are performed in front of a panel of judges at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where students also learn about the power of music in protest.
In addition to receiving anti-bias education grants for their schools, winners are invited to perform their original songs in front of approximately 500 audience members during the Stop the Hate Youth Speak Out award ceremony.
This year’s Stop the Hate Youth Sing Out Winners are (only 1st place performs):
Middle School Category
- 1st place, Garfield Middle School, two classes tied for their songs, “Guns Down” and “Turn Around”
- 2nd place, Dike School of the Arts, for “Don’t Let Hate Control You”
High School Category (because two different schools were tied for first, there is no second place winner)
- 1st place tie, Midview High School, for “New America” and Shaw High School, for “Win”