Justin Bachman, an 11th grade student at Solon High School, was awarded a four-year $40,000 scholarship at the sixth annual Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest ceremony held again this year at Severance Hall. His essay, read aloud in front of a panel of judges and an audience of more than 350, told of his battles with the discrimination he has experienced as a result of having Tourette syndrome. To “show the world that being different was okay,” Justin and his family created The Tolerance Fair, the annual Cleveland event that raises public awareness about differences and diversity, provides resources to those with differences, and introduces volunteer opportunities to passionate and supportive members of the community.
Seniors Anja Block of Shaker Heights High School and Chane’l Collins of Glenville High School received first and second runner up four-year scholarships, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. Twenty-one other students in grades 6-12 received cash awards.
This year, more than 3,500 students from seven eligible counties – Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit – shared their solutions to stopping hatred. Essays were scored on content, writing, originality and creativity, and utilization of the theme of personal responsibility. At last night’s event, each finalist read his or her essay aloud for final scoring by a panel of judges featuring community leaders in diversity. Their essays addressed a variety of issues, from racism to handicapped accessibility and gang violence.
The event, held again this year at Severance Hall, was emceed by Dan Moulthrop, CEO at the City Club of Cleveland. Highlights included an invocation by Imam Ramez Islambouli, President, Uqbah Mosque, Cleveland; remarks by Maltz Museum co-founder Milton Maltz; and Youth Sing Out performances by Newton D. Baker Elementary and John Marshall High schools – each of those schools was awarded $5,000. Solon High School and Rocky River Middle School, the schools with the grand prize winning entry and highest percentage of student entries respectively, were each awarded $10,000 to be used specifically toward anti-bias education.
In total, $100,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded.
click on the student’s name to read their essay
GRAND SCHOLARSHIP WINNER (four-year $40,000 scholarship)
Justin Bachman, Solon High School – 11th grade
FIRST RUNNER-UP (four year $15,000 scholarship)
Anja Block, Shaker Heights High School – 12th grade
SECOND RUNNER-UP (four year $10,000 scholarship)
Chane’l Collins, Glenville High School – 12th grade
HONORABLE MENTIONS ($500 cash prize)
Janessa Brickman, Holy Name High School – 12th grade
Randall Gregory, Beaumont School – 12th grade
Jessica Hartig, Solon High School – 11th grade
Madison Jackson, Solon High School – 11th grade
Anjali Mansinghani, Walsh Jesuit High School – 12th grade
Brandon McGhee, Charles F. Brush High School – 12th grade
Andrew Poll, Shaker Heights High School – 12th grade
6 – 10th grade 1st Place Winners ($300 cash prize)
1st Place: Carly Conrad, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School
2nd Place: Rebecca Oet, Orchard Middle School
3rd Place: Jill Klika, Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts