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Friday, May 4, 2018
CONTACT:  Daisy Gonzalez-Diego
Miami-Dade County Public Schools

10 M-DCPS Students Honored by Prestigious Elie Wiesel Foundation for Essays on Society’s Ethical Challenges

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 2018 Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. For the fifth 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.

Ana Blanco, a junior at TERRA Environmental Research Institute, won first place and received a $3,000 college scholarship for her essay “The Sound of Silence and Fury of Action.” Second place was awarded to Estefania Caputo, senior, Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High, who received $2,000. Third place went to Paola Genera a senior at Cutler Bay Senior High. She received $1,000. The runners-up were Mariana Penaloza, a senior at School for Advanced Studies North Campus; and Carolina Bello a junior at TERRA Environmental Research Institute. They each received $250.

Five finalists were Samuel Isenberg – iPreparatory Academy; Elizabeth Rodriguez – Academy for Advanced Academics South; Olivia Ruiz – iPreparatory Academy; Johan Soto – Coral Gables Senior High; and Jaime Fernandez – Miami Beach Senior High. All finalists are juniors, and each received a $50 prize.

The winners were announced at a ceremony earlier this 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
brought the contest to Miami through his association with Mr. Wiesel.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel 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.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured left to right: runner-up Mariana Penaloza; finalist Elizabeth Rodriguez; runner-up Carolina Bello; Robert Hohenstein, president and CEO, Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition; first-place winner Ana Blanco; third-place winner Paola Gerena, finalist Jaime Fernandez; Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho; second-place winner Estefania Caputo; finalist Samuel Isenberg; finalist Johan Soto; finalist Olivia Ruiz,; School Board Vice Chair Dr. Martin Karp; Jonathan Plutzik, owner, The Betsy-South Beach; and Miriam Klein Kassenoff, director, Holocaust Education Teacher Institute at the University of Miami.

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