Hudson High School Senior Named Stop the Hate Contest Grand Prize Winner in LIVE REVEAL

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage announced winners of the 2020 Stop the Hate essay contest on Thursday, May 14 at 10 AM with a surprise reveal. Facebook Live reporter Hannah Drown from was on site to broadcast the joy of Hudson High School Senior, Leah Messemer, as she received a $40,000 college scholarship for penning an essay on combating discrimination and advocating for people with disabilities.

Museum and school officials gathered in front of her Hudson home wearing face masks and holding congratulatory signs as Stop the Hate committee vice chair Scott Simon called Leah Messemer’s name from a megaphone to bring her out of the house. That’s when committee chair, Darrell McNair, handed Leah a symbolic oversized check for a $40,000 four-year college scholarship and her school principal a check for $5,000 to be used toward anti-bias education. The crowd cheered and Leah was asked to read her winning essay live on air.

The link has been viewed nearly 50,000 times, boasts over 2,000 reactions, and has received nearly 500 comments and over 150 shares, as Northeast Ohio celebrates the accomplishment of this student upstander.


Stop the Hate is a contest celebrating 6th – 12th graders standing up and speaking out against bias and bigotry as they compete for the chance to win a prestigious award. Each year about 3,000 students enter, and with the help of 400 volunteer readers, 25 finalists are named, but there can only be one grand prize winner. That winner this year was Leah Messemer. Many more prizes are awarded including but not limited to these accomplished students:

$15,000 to 1st Runner Up, Nia Terrell (Grade 12, Charles F. Brush High School)
$10,000 to 2nd Runner Up, Faicia Giddings (Grade 11, Cleveland School for the Arts)
$5,000 to 3rd Runner Up, Kennedy Fletchher (Grade 12, Shaker Heights High School)

To meet all the winners and read their essays visit