11th Annual Stop the Hate® Contest Winners Named

Son of Immigrants, Samuel Oguntoyinbo, of Solon High School Named 11th Grand Prize Winner

(CLEVELAND, OH) March 18, 2019 – During a prestigious annual event held in Northeast Ohio, ten high school juniors and seniors competed for the title of grand prize winner at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage’s 11th Annual Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out essay writing contest. The contest, focused on students speaking out in support of diversity and inclusion, has engaged an estimated 30,000+ student participants across 12 Northeast Ohio counties and awarded $1.1 million to students and schools in scholarships and anti-bias education grants over the last eleven years.

The top ten essays, selected from thousands of entries, were read for an audience of 600+ at The Cleveland Museum of Art as juniors and senior high school students vied for a chance to win the grand prize of a $40,000 scholarship.

Samuel Oguntoyinbo of Solon High School, who is the son of Nigerian immigrants, was named grand prize winner. In his essay, he wrote of his experience with racism and passion for inclusivity, saying:

I believe that once we educate others and reinforce our shared humanity, we can do away with much of the ignorance, bigotry, and hatred that plague us as a society. While this is much easier said than done, the pursuit of this goal is well worth the work it entails.

Samuel’s full essay reading from the event is available on the Maltz Museum’s YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2W3mK3K) along with the other remarkable top ten finalists (https://bit.ly/2Ob1vdn).

A PDF of the essay book which features the top 25 essays can be found here: https://bit.ly/2HEFVwO

For the first time in the contest’s history, presenting sponsor, Dworken and Bernstein, announced a contribution of $100,000 to the Maltz Museum’s Stop the Hate initiative, in support of anti-bias education in Northeast Ohio. Irving Rosner, a principal of the firm, presented a check to co-founders Milton and Tamar Maltz; managing director, David Schafer; board chair, Grant Dinner; Stop the Hate chair, Darrell McNair; and, Stop the Hate vice chair, Scott Simon who was also the night’s emcee before the winners were announced.

2019 YOUTH SPEAK OUT 11-12th GRADE WINNERS

YOUTH SPEAK OUT GRAND SCHOLARSHIP WINNER
(4-year $40,000 scholarship)
Samuel Oguntoyinbo, Solon High School

YOUTH SPEAK OUT FIRST RUNNER-UP
($15,000 scholarship)
Priyanka Shrestha, Beachwood High School

YOUTH SPEAK OUT SECOND RUNNER-UP
($10,000 scholarship)
Kennon Walton, University School

YOUTH SPEAK OUT THIRD RUNNER-UP
($5,000 scholarship)
Mackenzie Lee, Hawken School

YOUTH SPEAK OUT HONORABLE MENTIONS
($500 cash prize)
Heavenlee Alamo, James Ford Rhodes High School
Marcie Baker, West Geauga High School
Alexa Furukawa, Revere High School
Alan Goodloe, Hudson High School
Mathilde Tomter, Beaumont School
Emma Rae Witt, Berkshire High School

2019 YOUTH SPEAK OUT 6-10TH GRADE WINNERS
(1st place receives $400 cash prize)

10th Grade
1st Place: Andrew Oscarson, Hidson High School
2nd Place: Nathan Trost, Hudson High School
3rd Place: Abigail Wilkov, Solon High School

9th Grade
1st Place: Mykenna Roy, Mayfield High School
2nd Place: Ilana Miller, Mayfield High School
3rd Place: Jenny Fu, Mayfield High School

8th Grade
1st Place: Gianna Miller, Rocky River Middle School
2nd Place: Aparna Srikanth, Solon Middle School
3rd Place: Gigi Knorad, Rocky River Middle School

7th Grade
1st Place: Kamryn von Kunsay, Learwood Middle School
2nd Place: Ariana Preston, Beachwood Middle School
3rd Place: Veronica Schwartz, Beachwood Middle School

6th Grade
1st Place: Elise Fletcher, St. Barnabas School
2nd Place: Gabi Censoprano, Hudson Middle School
3rd Place: Mallory Schenkenberger, Hudson Middle School

2019 YOUTH SING OUT WINNING SCHOOLS
Middle School Category
1st place: Garfield Middle School, two classes from this school tied for their songs, “Guns Down” and “Turn Around”
2nd place: Dike School of the Arts, for their song “Don’t Let Hate Control You”

High School Category
1st place tie: Midview High School for their song, “New America”
1st place tie: Shaw High School for their song “Win”

This year’s judges for the 11th anniversary ceremony include:
Antoinette M. Baker, AVP, Operations Manager, PNC; Greer Gibbons, Project Manager, The Lubrizol Corporation; Eduardo Kim, Partner, Thompson Hine; Gregg Levine, Consultant, Ratliff & Taylor; David B. Malik, Attorney, Malik Law; Leonor M. Osorio, DO, Cleveland Clinic – Lutheran Hospital, Hispanic Clinic; Monyka Price, Chief of Education, City of Cleveland; Cecilia Render, Executive Director, Nordson Corporation Foundation; and Carl Tyler, MD, Director, Developmental Disabilities – Practice-Based Research Network, Cleveland Clinic.

Congratulations to all of the participants, finalists, and winners. Also, to the schools, teachers, readers, judges, and guests who helped make the eleventh year one of the best yet. For more information on the Maltz Museum, or to request a Stop the Hate group tour, please visit maltzmuseum.org or call 216-593-0575.

Stop the Hate® is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor: Dworken & Bernstein; For Youth Speak Out: AB Bernstein, Dealer Tire, Dominion Energy, Nordson, and Helen and Louis Stolier Family Foundation; For Youth Sing Out: The Abington Foundation, Bruening, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, and Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. The Maltz Museum is generously supported by: Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and Ohio Arts Council