Finalists in the Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out essay contest, sponsored by the were honored Sunday at a ceremony at Severance Hall.
Alexander Stojsavljevic, a senior at Normandy High School in Parma was awarded the top honor — a $50,000 college scholarship. He wrote about how being openly gay has opened his eyes to discrimination.
Also awarded scholarships in the 11th- and 12th-grade contest were Cedric Thorbes, a senior at Glenville High School who won a $25,000 scholarship and Hayleigh Sanders, a junior at Olmsted High School who won $15,000.
There were 22 other finalists, including senior and University Heights resident Bracha Greenfeld, who received an honorable mention; 's , who earned third in the ninth-grade contest; and Beachwood Middle School's and who earned first and third places, respectively, in the sixth-grade contest.
Beachwood Middle School was also honored as having been one of the top sources of submissions. More than 1,700 students from seven counties entered.