Stop The Hate Winners Announced


Martin Luther King Jr. High Student School Wins Contest Grand Prize


Click here for full list of winners and their essays


April 23, 2012 (Cleveland, OH) Severance Hall was once again full of excitement

Gabrielle Jones announced as Grand Prize winner. (Marc Golub)

as the fourth annual “Stop The Hate: Youth Speak Out!” essay contest awarded a four-year $50,000 scholarship to Grand Prize winner Gabrielle Jones, a 12th grade student at Martin Luther King Jr. High School (watch the video). Hannah Schmidt of Brush High School and Jane Kim of Beaumont High School received first and second runner up four-year scholarships, $25,000 and $15,000 respectively. Twenty-one other students in grades 6-12 received awards.  The event was presented by Dealer Tire and KeyBank, and featured special guest speaker Gary Waters, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Cleveland State University, with remarks from Museum co-founder Milton Maltz, Executive Director Judi Feniger, KeyBank District President Lisa Oliver and Musical Arts Association Chairman Richard Bogomolny.

1,800 students from seven eligible counties – Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit – shared their stories by submitting essays this year. Juniors and seniors were eligible for the three scholarship prizes. The top ten finalists, who achieved the highest scores on the written essays, made up less than 1% of the total essays received. Created by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, “Stop The Hate: Youth Speak Out!” asks students to describe an act of discrimination, reflect on their own response and write a 500-word essay with a plan of action to affect change. Essays are then scored on content, writing, originality and creativity, and utilization of the theme of personal responsibility. Nearly 6,500 essays have been received in the contest’s first four years.

At the dramatic Awards Ceremony, each finalist read his or her essay aloud for final scoring by a blue-ribbon panel of judges.  The essays addressed a variety of issues, from racism and ethnic discrimination to sexuality, mental illness, special needs and cyberbullying.

New to the ceremony this year, WKYC Channel 3 Weekend News Anchor and Education Reporter Kim Wheeler served as Master of Ceremonies.  She was a judge for the competition in 2010. The event featured performances by the Horizon Science Academy Army Junior ROTC Color Guard, Shaw High School Cheerleaders, and East Cleveland Heritage Middle School Jazz ensemble, ushers were from Cleveland Heights High School Renaissance School, and culinary students from the Ranger Café @ West Shore Career-Technical District provided desserts for the reception.  Students from Sunbeam School and Glenville High School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District performed Retro Raps, performances expressing their thoughts on stopping discrimination, hatred and violence through music.


For more information on the contest, visit Stop The Hate.