The prestigious Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity recognized 10 high school students from Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) for their entries in the 2017 Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. For the fourth year, M-DCPS is the only district in the nation to have high school juniors and seniors participate in this contest originally created for college students. Thousands of young people have participated in the Foundation’s Prize in Ethics at the college level since its inception in 1989.
Iria Abrahantes Morales, a senior at New World School of the Arts, won first place and a $3,000 college scholarship for her essay titled, “An Immigrant in America.” Second place was awarded to Margaret "Lucy" Farrell, a junior at New World School of the Arts, who received $2,000. Third place went to Melanie Rodriguez, a junior at the iPreparatory Academy. She received $1,000. The runners-up were Daria Samway, a junior at iPreparatory Academy; and Eva Bibas, a junior at Coral Reef Senior High. They each received $500.
Pictured left to right: Miami-Dade Youth Fair CEO & President Robert Hohenstein, Assistant Superintendent Lisette Alves, Taliah Coradin-Britt; The Betsy-South Beach owner Jonathan Plutzik; Eva Bibas, Chief Academic Officer Marie L. Izquierdo, Christopher Suarez, Margaret “Lucy” Farrell, Director of the Holocaust Studies Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Iria Abrahantes Morales, School Board member Martin Karp, Kelsy Ruano, School Board Chair Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman, Spencer Bernstein, Betty Martinez, Melanie Rodriguez, Daria Samway, Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, and Robert Brazofsky, executive director of the District’s Department of Social Sciences.
Five finalists were Taliah Coradin-Britt - Cutler Bay Senior High; Betty Martinez – Mater Academy Charter; Spencer Bernstein – MAST @ FIU; Christopher Suarez – Terra Environmental Research; and Kelsy Ruano – Barbara Goleman Senior High.
The winners were announced at a ceremony last week at The Betsy-South Beach. The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition, which contributed $6,500 in scholarship money, is a partner in the collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, The Betsy-South Beach, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and its corporate sponsor, LRN.
Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, who brought the contest to Miami, personally contributed an additional $200 to each of the five finalists and an additional $250 for each of the two runners-up.
The late Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel, for whom the contest is named, was a Romanian-born Jewish-American professor and political activist who died last year. He wrote more than 60 books, including “Night,” a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps. Mr. Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
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CAPTION: Top Winner - Iria Abrahantes Morales with Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho
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