Top 25 Stop the Hate® Contest Finalists Announced

Award Ceremony to be held March 14 naming this Year’s Winners

(CLEVELAND, OH) February 8, 2019 – The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is proud to announce top 25 finalists for the 11th Annual Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out essay writing contest. The contest winners will be named live at the award ceremony, to be held on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6:30PM at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The inspiring event is FREE and open to the public. Registrations are encouraged to guarantee seating, 216-593-0575 or maltzmuseum.org.

The Maltz Museum’s Stop the Hate® essay writing contest is now in its 11th year and as timely as ever; students are asked to consider the benefits of a more inclusive society, the consequences of intolerance, and the role of personal responsibility in effecting change.

Through the generosity of a donor, the Maltz Museum annually awards $100,000 in recognition of 6-12th grade upstanders. In 2019, the amount awarded to students and schools participating in Stop the Hate® will total $1.1 million. An estimated 30,000+ students have participated across 12 counties in Northeast Ohio since the contest was launched, giving young people a platform to use their voices to speak out against hate and stand up for inclusion.

This prestigious contest offers students the chance to not only win individual scholarship money but also for schools to receive money for anti-bias education. Thousands enter, and twenty-five finalists are named before the winners are announced at an inspiring event where the top ten essays are read live in front of a panel of judges.

The top 25 finalists for 2019 Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out are:

Top 10 Juniors & Seniors, competing for grand prize of $40,000 in scholarship money

  • Heavenlee Alamo, Grade 12, James Ford Rhodes High School
  • Marcie Baker, Grade 12, West Geauga High School
  • Alexa Furukawa, Grade 11, Revere High School
  • Alan Goodloe, Grade 12, Hudson High School
  • Mackenzie Lee, Grade 12, Hawken School
  • Samuel Oguntoyinbo, Grade 12, Solon High School
  • Priyanka Shrestha, Grade 11, Beachwood High School
  • Mathilde Tomter, Grade 12, Beaumont School
  • Kennon Walton, Grade 11, University School
  • Emma Witt, Grade 12, Berkshire High School

Grades 6-10 competing for $400 awards, by grade

6th grade

  • Gabriella Censoprano, Hudson Middle School
  • Elise Fletcher, St. Barnabas School
  • Mallory Schenkenberger, Hudson Middle School

7th grade

  • Kamryn von Kunsay, Learwood Middle School
  • Arianna Preston, Beachwood Middle School
  • Veronica Schwartz, Beachwood Middle School

8th grade

  • Gigi Konrad, Rocky River Middle School
  • Gianna Miller, Rocky River Middle School
  • Aparna Srikanth, Solon Middle School

9th grade

  • Jenny Fu, Mayfield High School
  • Ilana Miller, Mayfield High School
  • Mykenna Roy, Mayfield High School

10th grade

  • Andrew Oscarson, Hudson High School
  • Nathan Trost, Hudson High School
  • Abigail Wilkov, Solon High School

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.

The scholarship winners will be named live at the award ceremony on March 14 when Stop the Hate® Youth Sing Out winners will also perform. This is another component to the Stop the Hate® contest.

The Maltz Museum partners with Roots of American Music (ROAM) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to celebrated the voices of young people standing up to bias and bigotry through the annual Stop the Hate® Youth Sing Out contest held in November and December of 2018. An estimated 1,000+ students from 18 middle school classes and 27 high school classes representing 16 different schools participated this academic year, to pen and perform original songs.
This annual program sharpens written and oral language skills while fostering a deeper understanding of historic human rights events as an arts-integrated learning initiative. Students visit the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for a Stop the Hate tour. They reflect on what they’ve learned, consider bias they’ve experienced in their own lives, and discuss how to use their voice to be an upstander. Students then return to their classrooms where they partner with a ROAM musician who works with them to write an original song. The songs are performed in front of a panel of judges at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where students also learn about the power of music in protest.
This year’s Youth Sing Out judges were: representatives from Center for Arts and Innovation at Cleveland State University, Cleveland Scene, The Music Settlement, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Playhouse Square.
In addition to receiving anti-bias education grants for their schools, winners are invited to perform their original songs in front of approximately 500 audience members during the Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out award ceremony.

This year’s Stop the Hate® Youth Sing Out Winners are (only 1st place performs):

Middle School Category

  • 1st place, Garfield Middle School, two classes 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 (because two different schools were tied for first, there is no second place winner)

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

The award ceremony is free and open to the public. The event beings at 6:30PM on March 14 and will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Registrations are encouraged to guarantee seating, 216-593-0575 or maltzmuseum.org.

Space is limited. Register here   >>>

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Stop the Hate® is made possible by the generous support:of Presenting Sponsor: Dworkin & 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