City Club announces high-school essay competition

It’s that time of the year when the City Club of Cleveland announces The Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Competition, an opportunity for students to explore the complexities of our constitutional right to free speech while building essential writing and critical thinking skills—and win prizes.

The Adelsteins have been lifelong residents of Northeast Ohio, philanthropists and environmental activists for decades, establishing the Free Speech Competition in 2012 as part of the City Club's centennial. Although Stanley died in December, their legacy continues.

This year, the competition is open to all high school students, not just juniors and seniors. Students in grades 9–12 in public, private, parochial, charter and home schools in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties are encouraged to submit an essay on the topic “How can teens utilize free speech to inspire change in their communities?” Essays should be no longer than 300 words, and should be submitted at

A panel of judges, selected from the City Club membership and the community, will choose the winning essays based on clarity, originality of content, and significance of the ideas expressed.

Judges will rank the top three of 20 winning essays. The top prizes are $1,000, $750 and $500, respectively, and the winners will read their essays at a City Club forum and be recorded for podcast. Teachers of the top winners will each receive $250. The 17 remaining winners will each receive $100. Winners will be notified by May 1.

The 20 finalists and their guests will be invited to attend the essay competition luncheon forum and will receive a one-year membership to the City Club and a certificate of recognition. Winning essays will be posted on the City Club website.

The deadline for submitting an essay is March 1. All entries must include the entrant’s name, age, home address and telephone number, and e-mail addresses of the entrant and his or her teacher. Entries should include a cover letter, signed by the entrant, that states the following: “This is my original document and does not include any previous composition by another.”

For more information about The Hope and Stanley Adelstein Essay Competition, contact the City Club at 216-621-0082, or send an e-mail to

Jewel Moulthrop

Jewel Moulthrop is a Cleveland Heights resident and member of the Heights Observer's Advisory Committee.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:27 PM, 01.29.2015