6-10 Grade Stop The Hate Finalists Announced



Cleveland, Ohio (February 20, 2012) –How can teens and pre-teens help stop prejudice and discrimination in their own schools and neighborhoods? Can one person make a difference by standing up to bullying, peer pressure and intolerance?


This year more than 1,800 students from 126 schools shared their solutions by entering the fourth annual Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest. Their essays address a variety of issues, from cyber-bullying and homelessness to ethnic, racial and religious discrimination, and offer heartfelt and innovative solutions.


Essays are read and scored by more than 200 community volunteers. More than 6,500 entries have been received since the contest began in 2009-10, an astonishing number that evidences the depth of the issue. More and more teachers are integrating the essay into classroom assignments as a way of promoting discussion about various forms of hatred, intolerance and discrimination and how young people can take a stand for change.


Lynda A. Bender, Maltz Museum Director of Education and Public Programs, says “We have been overwhelmed by the willingness of young people to address these issues. Writing an essay encourages our youth to have empathy, make good choices and identify skills to respond when confronted with bigotry.”


Students compete for a total of $100,000 in scholarships and prizes. Finalists in grades 6-10, announced below, will be honored along with ten junior and senior finalists (who compete for three scholarships by giving oral presentations) at an awards ceremony on April 22 at Severance Hall.


Finalists in grades 6-10 represent students from three of the seven eligible counties, and from a dozen schools.  They are:



Mayam Assar, Cleveland Heights High School

Adrian Berr, Cleveland Heights High School

Corinne Sinclair, Cleveland Heights High School



Josh Chernomorets, Solon High School

Zachary Kenna, Stowe-Munroe Falls High School

Hailey Delphia LaFrance, Kenston High School, Bainbridge



Sapir Flank, Fuchs Mizrachi of Cleveland High School, Beachwood

Lucy Grierson, Rocky River Middle School

Julia Jantz, Learwood Middle School, Avon Lake



Graci Homany, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights

Marisa Lancaster, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights

Arjun Ramachandran, Solon Middle School



Srikar Dudipala, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School

Brian Luck, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School

Micah Stark, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School


The contest is open to public, private and home schooled students in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit Counties. Juniors and seniors complete for three, four-year college scholarships (one each $50,000, $25,000 and $15,000).; they and younger students compete for cash prizes, class visits to the Museum and resource materials for their schools.


Sponsored by Dealer Tire and KeyBank.


About the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: An American Story

Opened in 2005, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage introduces visitors to the beauty and diversity of that heritage in the context on the American experience, promotes an understanding of Jewish history, religion and culture and builds bridges of appreciation, tolerance and understanding with those of other religion, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds serving as an educational resource for Northeast Ohio’s Jewish and general communities.  The Museum includes An American Story, The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery, an internationally-recognized collection of Judaica, and a special exhibition gallery featuring important exhibitions of national and international acclaim.


The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture




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