The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage announced the 2022 student and school winners of its 14th annual “Stop the Hate Youth Speak Out & Youth Sing Out” Contest at a virtual ceremony last night.
The scholarship contest recognizes Northeast Ohio middle and high school students who wrote individual essays and classroom songs to stand up and speak out against bias and bigotry.
The contest annually awards $100,000 in scholarships and prizes.
This year’s Grand Prize and scholarship award winner was Jacqueline Hudak, a junior at Lakewood High School, who receives a four-year, $20,000 scholarship. Lakewood High School receives a $5,000 Anti-Bias Education Grant. Hear her essay here.
First runner up Maraja Moss, a senior at Jackson High School, won a $10,000 scholarship, and second runner up Sanjana Katiyar, a junior at Strongsville High School, won a $5,000 scholarship. Each of their schools receives a $2,000 Anti-Bias Education Grant.
Students who won honorable mentions receive $1,000 scholarships, and each of their schools receives a $500 Anti-Bias Education Grant.
According to the Maltz Museum, since the “Stop the Hate” contest was founded, more than 40,000 students have participated from 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. The program has awarded $1.4 million in scholarships and grants.
The Stop the Hate contest has two components: the “Youth Speak Out” Essay Writing contest for students and “Youth Sing Out” Songwriting contest for classrooms. Both celebrate Northeast Ohio students in sixth through 12th grade who are committed to creating a more accepting, inclusive society by speaking and singing out against bias and bigotry.
This year, many of the essays had themes of racism, bullying, bigotry, misogyny and domestic violence.
The essays and songs are read and scored by more than 400 volunteer community readers. The highest scores are then read again by select judges to determine the winners.
Angela Gartner, editor at Northeast Ohio Parent magazine had the opportunity to be there for the virtual announcement of the Stop the Hate Teacher of the Year award winners Nicole Majercak of Beachwood High School and Vickie Orozco of Newton D. Baker School of Arts. She interviewed them both after it was revealed they won. The two teachers will each received a $1,000 cash prize in recognition of their personal commitment to anti-bias education. View the video of the interview here
View all this year’s winners here.