Solon High School's Zachary Schwartz was named as a finalist in the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage's annual essay contest.
Schwartz is one of 10 finalists pulled from a pool of 1,800 contestants from 126 schools. He will compete for $100,000 in scholarship prizes.
The finalists' essays address a variety of issues, from racism and ethnic discrimination to sexuality, mental illness, special needs and cyberbullying.
According to the museum, essays have been read and scored by more than 200 community volunteers.
"We are so proud of these young people," said Lynda A. Bender, directo of education and public programs at the Maltz Museum. "Their sensitivity and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others is a testament to the activism of their generation."
Schwartz and the other finalists 10 were narrowed down from 24 semi-finalists after a panel of 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.