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Thursday, March 5, 2020
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 2020 Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. For the seventh 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.

Marina Marquis, a senior at Cutler Bay Senior High, won first place and received a $3,000 college scholarship for her essay “Only Connect!” Second place was awarded to Ch'ade Delotte-Bennett, a junior at iPreparatory Academy, who received $2,000. Third place went to Daniel Coppola, a junior at Coral Reef Senior High. He received $1,000. The honorable mentions were Avery Allen, a senior at Coral Reef Senior High; and Alexandra Grant, a junior at TERRA Environmental Research Institute. They each received a $250 prize, and an additional $250 pledged by Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho.

The remaining finalists were Joel Sabando, School for Advanced Studies – Wolfson Campus; Miah Valdes, School for Advanced Studies – Homestead Campus; Natalie Sotero, International Studies Preparatory Academy; Ja’Kerra Blackman, C.O.P.E. Center North; and Lephtherie Estime, School for Advanced Studies – North Campus. Each of these finalists received a $50 prize and an additional $200 scholarship pledged by the Superintendent.

The winners were announced at a ceremony earlier this week at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach. The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition Inc. sponsored the scholarships. Superintendent Carvalho brought the contest to Miami through his association with the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel, for whom the contest is named, was a Romanian-born Jewish-American professor and political activist who died in 2016. 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.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), an A-rated district, is the nation’s fourth largest school system with nearly 400 schools and a diverse enrollment of more than 350,000 students from over 160 countries. Our ongoing tradition of groundbreaking achievement has earned top recognition at the national and international levels. M-DCPS also recently reached a landmark graduation rate of 89.2 percent.

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TOP CAPTION:  Left to right: Student finalists with Eddie Cora, President, Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition Inc.; Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Schools; Elena Cabrera, Executive Director, Secondary English Language Arts; Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, District Holocaust Education Specialist; Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer; Dr. Lawrence Feldman, School Board Member and Robert C. Brazofsky, Executive Director, Department of Social Sciences.

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