Sunday, October 25, 2009

Essay Competition: Middle and High School Students

ESSAY COMPETITION for Middle and High School Students


After disease, humanity’s deadliest scourge has always been hate…hate has killed hundreds of millions. It knows no season and no limit. It is irrational and it is deadly. It is in us all. And it will live forever—unless we choose to stop it.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (MMJH) challenges students in grades 6-12 to take personal responsibility to combat hatred, discrimination and intolerance by participating in the 2009-10 Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out! essay contest.

About the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage
The Museum, located in Beachwood, Ohio strives to open lines of communication between people of all races and religious backgrounds by focusing on the commonalities, rather than differences, of all who make up the American story. It is a museum of tolerance, diversity and collaboration and has taken great care to reflect upon the results of intolerance, not just against Jews, but against the weak, powerless, segregated and different in America and throughout the world.

About the Essay Contest
Established in 2008-09, the Stop the Hate! Youth Speak Out! essay contest is a yearly initiative of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage that supports the Museum’s mission to build bridges of appreciation, tolerance and understanding of persons of all religions, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds. It reflects Jewish values of responsible citizenship and respect for all humanity by challenging young people to consider the consequences of intolerance and hatred and the role of personal responsibility in affecting change. By rewarding outstanding essays with college scholarships and other prizes, the contest encourages civic responsibility as an integral part of American life.

The Stop the Hate! Youth Speak Out Essay Contest:

promotes discussion among middle and high school students about various forms of hatred, intolerance and discrimination and how young people can take a stand for change

strengthens students problem-solving and writing skills while emphasizing empathy for others
provides students with valuable practice in preparing for the written portion of SAT/ACT exams and college application essays

encourages participatory learning, special projects, reading assignments, community service projects, and cultural competency

addresses National Content Standards

What would you do to fight discrimination? How will you combat hatred and intolerance to become an agent of change? How will you become part of the solution?

Essays must address three components:
1. Describe an act of discrimination—have you or someone you know been subjected to discrimination? Or have you seen or heard of acts of hatred and intolerance that disturbed you?

2. Reflect upon your response—why were you disturbed and what did you feel and/or do about what you experienced, saw or heard?

3. Commit to a plan of action—Stop the Hate! Youth Speak Out! What have you done already and/or what will you commit to doing in the future to stop hatred and intolerance and affect change in you, your school and/or community? How will you implement your plan of action?

Discrimination is defined as any act of prejudice or intolerance perpetrated upon one individual by another; a group against an individual; or one group against another group. For example, essays may respond to acts of discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical/mental challenges, economic status and/or less specific criteria such as bullying, name-calling, malicious gossiping, or ostracizing someone for unspecified reasons.


The contest is open to all students in grades 6-12 in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit counties in Ohio.
Students may attend a public, private, religious, charter school or home-school
One entry per student; no group projects
Students who have entered in previous years, including past student winners, may enter again, but cannot re-submit any essay previously submitted
Immediate family members of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Malrite Company and The Maltz Family Foundation staff and Board of Directors are ineligible to enter


Entries must be accompanied by the Official Entry Form—available on-line

Essays must address all three parts of the contest theme—describe, reflect, and commit

Entries are limited to 500 words; every word of the essay is counted with the exception of any bibliography and/or footnotes; please DO NOT title your essay
Essays must be original student work and free of plagiarism; quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be identified properly using MLA or similar standards
Failure to identify non-original material or plagiarism of any kind will result in disqualification
Entries must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point type, with one inch margins; no hand-written entries will be accepted
Do not use script, italicized, bold-faced type, decorative fonts or include graphics or photographs
DO NOT use student name, teacher name or school name anywhere on the essay
DO NOT use the real name of any actual person known to you; use a pseudonym in the first usage, such as “John, not his real name”

Entries that are incomplete, submitted after the deadline or do not comply with contest guidelines will not be accepted.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected or delayed entries, whether caused by mail/other delivery systems or human error which may occur in the processing of entries to this contest; or any problems/technical malfunctions of any computer equipment or software by either the applicant or the Maltz Museum. All entries become the property of the Maltz Museum, including the right to reproduce the essay or portions thereof in any promotional, reference, research, or official business materials without limitation; entries will not be returned. The Maltz Museum reserves the right to cancel, modify or delay the Contest

$100,000 in SCHOLARSHIPS and PRIZES:
All 11th and 12th grade entries are eligible for SCHOLARSHIP PRIZES (for qualified educational expenses—tuition, books, fees, room, board) at an Ohio college or university

Grand Scholarship Prize

$50,000 scholarship (up to $12,500 per year, renewable up to four years)

First Runner-Up

$25,000 scholarship (up to $6,250 per year renewable up to four years)

Second Runner-Up

$15,000 scholarship (up to $3,750 per year renewable up to four years)

7 Honorable Mentions

$1,000 cash prize

High School Division—cash prizes

9th grade winners: $300 First Prize/$200 Second Prize/$100 Third Prize
10th grade winners: $300 First Prize/$200 Second Prize/$100 Third Prize
A one-year Family Membership to the Maltz Museum for each winner
Book and video prize for each winner’s school library (one gift per school)
A free field trip to the Maltz Museum for each winner’s class

Middle School Division—cash prizes

6th grade winners: $300 First Prize/$200 Second Prize/$100 Third Prize
7th grade winners: $300 First Prize/$200 Second Prize/$100 Third Prize
8th grade winners: $300 First Prize/$200 Second Prize/$100 Third Prize
A one-year Family Membership to the Maltz Museum for each winner
Book and video prize for each winner’s school library (one gift per school)
A free field trip to the Maltz Museum for each winner’s class

Online entry is preferred. If students have limited access to the Internet, entries may be hand-delivered or mailed. Entries must be received electronically, by mail or hand-delivered by 12 Noon on the following dates. Late entries will not be accepted:

Entry Deadlines:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 for students in grades 6-10
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 for students in grades 11-12

To enter online:

Go to here and follow the directions to prepare your official entry form and upload your entry

To enter by mail or hand delivery:

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage—STH
2929 Richmond Road
Beachwood, Ohio 44122

How Entries Are Scored:

Entries are scored on the three required components of the essay, integration of the theme of personal responsibility, originality/creativity, student commitment to a plan of action, the potential for the plan to be implemented, and writing style/presentation. Each entry is assigned a number; readers and judges blind-score by number only; no names or school names are identified. Three readers score each essay using a numerical points scale

How Grades 6-10 Winners are determined:

Winners are determined for grades 6-10 by the highest number of points

How Scholarship Finalists are determined and Winners selected:*

Scholarship semi-finalists are determined by the highest number of points. Semi-finalist essays are read by a team of judges—each judge reads/scores all semi-finalist essays. Essays are scored using a numerical points scale. Judges’ aggregate scores narrow the field to no more than ten finalists.

Finalists must be present at the Awards Ceremony where they will read their essay and be scored on the quality of their oral presentation. The Grand Prize Winner, First and Second Runner-Up are determined by a combination of essay and oral presentation scores, with the essay score having the most weight in determining the outcome


Scholarship finalists, 6-10 grade winners, and their families will be invited to a special Awards Ceremony in March 2010 where specific prizes will be announced and students honored for their achievement.

11-12 grade scholarship finalists must be present at the Awards Ceremony to win.
Communicating your ideas to others is an important part of being an agent of change; finalists for scholarship prizes will read their essay and be scored on the quality of their oral presentation.

· Scholarship finalists are required to submit additional information including GPA, ACT/SAT scores and letters of recommendation
· Financial need is not a consideration
· Scholarship winners are required to enroll as full-time students in a course of study leading to a degree in an accredited Pell-eligible, Ohio four-year college or university
· Scholarship winners must complete sufficient course hours each grading period to maintain status as a full-time student as defined by the institution and will be required to submit grades and verification of enrollment on a regular basis
· Scholarship prize is not transferable—if scholarship winner forfeits the prize before beginning school (selects an out of state school, accepts another full scholarship, unable to attend college)—prize is held in trust for future winners
· If scholarship winner transfers to an out of state school, drops out or is dismissed from school, remaining funds are held in trust for future winners

The administration of the Contest, including, without limitation, determining the eligibility of a student or essay, selecting of a reader or judge, evaluating any submitted essay, and awarding of the prizes, is within the sole and absolute discretion of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. No student or teacher, or person or organization related thereto, has a right to appeal, contest, dispute, or otherwise challenge any aspect of the administration of the Contest, and any decision of the Maltz Museum is final in all respects.

In administering the Contest, the Maltz Museum will not discriminate in any manner, including on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, and each eligible essay submitted will be evaluated upon the merit of its contents as described in this document.


Anonymous said...

Took me time to read all the comments, but I enjoyed the article.

college application essay

Anonymous said...

Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.
Writing a Research Paper