Ten Students Vie for $100,000 in Scholarships and Prizes


Cleveland, Ohio (March 19, 2012) – This year more than 1,800 students from 126 schools shared their solutions to stop hatred and discrimination by entering the fourth annual Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage “Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out” essay contest. 10 of those students have risen to the top and will compete for $100,000 in scholarship prizes. Their essays address a variety of issues, from racism and ethnic discrimination to sexuality, mental illness, special needs and cyberbullying.


Essays have been read and scored by more than 200 community volunteers. “We are so proud of these young people. Their sensitivity and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others is a testament to the activism of their generation.” said Lynda A. Bender, Director of Education and Public Programs. More than 6,500 entries have been received in the contest’s first four years, an astonishing number that evidences the depth of concern among the youth of our region.


These 10 student finalists were narrowed down from 24 semi-finalists after a panel of select judges read their essays. Judges this year include US Attorney for Northern Ohio Steven Dettelbach, Ideastream Reporter and Program Host Rick Jackson, The Plain Dealer Editor Debra Adams Simmons, and Grand Prize “Stop the Hate” Scholarship Winner 2011 Alexander Stojsavljevic.


These finalists will compete for three college scholarships by giving oral presentations at the awards ceremony on April 22 at Severance Hall.


  • Gabrielle Jones – Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, Cleveland
  • Telayne Keith – Our Lady of the Elms High School, Akron
  • Jane Kim – Beaumont High School, Cleveland Heights
  • Sarah Krafcik – Padua Franciscan High School, Parma
  • Rachel Lieberman – Orange High School
  • Bryan Naelitz – Marion L. Steele High School, Amherst
  • Hannah Schmidt – Brush High School, Lyndhurst
  • Zachary Schwartz – Solon High School
  • Ciera L. West – Whitney Young High School, Cleveland
  • Allyson Zabell – Orange High School


The contest was 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.  Finalists in grades 6-10 were announced in February (read the full story).


“Stop The Hate: Youth Speak Out” is generously sponsored by Dealer Tire and KeyBank.