By: Catrina Leone
Here in Cleveland, we love when we can see people coming together for a common cause. It is great to see our youth become more involved with the city and for the city. The Annual Stop The Hate event was held at Severance Hall last week. Thousands of students entered to win scholarships and ten finalists remained. Juniors and seniors were heard from throughout Northeast Ohio reading their essays as they competed for a grand scholarship prize of $40,000. Students were asked to compose an essay of 500 words or about: A time they witnessed an act of discrimination or hate toward themselves or someone else If they responded, why did they decide to stand up? How can they encourage their peers to do the same? If they didn’t respond, why not and what changes might they make to their behavior next time?
The finalists came from many different schools in our area. The scholarship finalists included: Justin Bachman, Solon High School; Anja Block, Shaker Heights High School; Janessa Brickman, Holy Name High School; Chane’l Collins, Glenville High Schoo; Randall Gregory, Beaumont School; Jessica Hartig, Solon High School; Madison Jackson, Solon High School; Anjali Mansinghani, Walsh Jesuit High School; Brandon McGhee, Brush High School; Andrew Poll, Shaker Heights High School.
Students in grades 6-10 were also finalists. –
Grade 10: Taylor Jones, Cleveland Heights High School. Erin King, Magnificat High School. Madeleine Shutt, Cleveland Heights High School.
Grade 9: Gregory Davidson, Solon High School. Justin Fitzgerald, Cleveland Heights High School. Regina McWilliams, Our Lady of the Elms.
Grade 8: Carter Hyde, Eastern Heights Middle School. Jordan Major, Roxboro Middle School. Thomas Schill, Rocky River Middle School.
Grade 7: Benjamin King, Paul L Dunbar Elementary School. Jeffery Morgan, Academy of St. Bartholomew Elementary. Nolan Weaver, Rocky River Middle School.
Grade 6: Carly Conrad, Copley-Fairlawn Middle School. Jill Klika, Miller South School of the Arts. Rebecca Oet, Orchard Middle School, Solon.
Essays were scored impartially by readers and judges, using a points-based system that did not identify the student in any way. Each essay was scored by at least three readers. Grades 6-10 finalists were determined by aggregate reader scores. Semi-finalists for the scholarship prizes were the top-scoring 11-12 grade students. Scholarship winners were determined by a combination of essay and oral presentation scores.
Through a generous grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, more than 400 students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District were able to participate in the Stop The Hate: Youth Sing Out competition. In collaboration with Roots of American Music, a local music education non-profit, teaching artists led residencies at Riverside, Newton D. Baker, Franklin Roosevelt and Charles Eliot Elementary Schools and John F. Kennedy, Collinwood, Lincoln-West, along with John Marshall High schools. The students took what they have learned at the museum back to the classroom and incorporated themes of diversity and tolerance into their lives. Two schools were chosen by community judges to perform their songs that evening, Newton D. Baker and John Marshall High School.
This event had such a strong message of how to literally stop the hate and bring peace and love back into the lives of our youth, and how they have done so thus far. It is always a heart-warming sight to see when the young people of Cleveland come together. To see more on this story and others in our community, stay tuned to Tv20.