Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition funds scholarship awards for second year of Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

May 22, 2015



Contact: Melissa Lichtenheld, 305-372-1234

Wragg & Casas Strategic Communication 



MIAMI, Fla. – May 22, 2015 – The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition is the financial supporter for the second year in a row of the Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest open to high school juniors and seniors in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS).


“The Youth Fair is a proud partner in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, The Betsy-South Beach, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and LRN in recognizing these outstanding students. This essay contest provides our young people an avenue to contemplate the meaning of what is right to do, because our ethics and values as a people truly are the heart and the soul of who we are and guide where we are headed in the future,” said Robert Hohenstein, president and CEO of The Youth Fair.


The essay contest is based on a national college level contest that encourages students to apply Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel’s call to action to “think higher, and feel deeper” about ethical issues facing our society.


Scholarship winners:

1st Place: Matthew Feiler, junior, International Studies Preparatory Academy; $3,000

2nd Place: Caitlin Camarena, junior, iPreparatory Academy; $2,000

3rd Place: Victoria Kontzamanys, senior, TERRA Environmental Research Institute; $1,000 


Two runners-up each received a $250 scholarship: 

Monica Winkler, junior, Miami Beach Senior High School 

Engels Jiron, senior, School for Advance Studies in Homestead


Five finalists each received a $50 award: 

Cassidey A. Phanord, junior, School for Advanced Studies North 

Shauna-Kay Harrison, junior, John A. Ferguson Senior High School 

Crishera Smith, junior, Miami Carol City Senior High School 

Akshat Sanan, junior, Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School 

Chelsea Cepeda, junior, South Dade Senior High School


Wiesel himself selected the 10 finalists and sent a personal message to them in a video presented at the award ceremony May 20, 2015, hosted by The Betsy-South Beach. The ceremony included remarks from Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho, Youth Fair President and CEO Robert Hohenstein, LRN representative Jean-Marc Levy of New York City, and Jonathan Plutzik, owner of The Betsy-South Beach. Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman, vice-chair of the school board who was in attendance, made spontaneous remarks.


Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE, for whom the contest is named, is a Romanian-born JewishAmerican professor and political activist. He is the author of 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 won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. 


The Youth Fair is a not-for-profit, private organization that awards more than $300,000 annually in college scholarships, cash premiums and awards to local public, private, charter and home school students. To date, The Youth Fair has awarded well above $10 million to Miami-Dade students to help them achieve higher education. The annual Youth Fair is the only venue where students can showcase their educational, art and science achievements all in one place and be rewarded for their efforts. More than 53,000 student projects are exhibited each year to more than 650,000 families, friends and fairgoers. Please visit


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