B'nai B'rith International made headlines in southern Delaware this week, as the inaugural Delmarva Peninsula Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge drew to a close.
At Tuesday's awards ceremony in Newark, Del., Zack Varrato was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his third-place entry, "The Mellow Fellow Who Played The Cello."
Like most young authors in the contest, Varrato wrote his story from the heart, drawing on personal experiences that have affected him directly.
Via DelmarvaNow.com, read more about his prize-winning book and B'nai B'rith International's Diverse Minds program:
B’nai B’rith International, a nonprofit Jewish human rights group, awarded Varrato the third-prize scholarship for its Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge on May 27.
The contest challenged high-schoolers throughout Delaware, as well as students in 10 counties in Maryland, to write and illustrate a children’s book about diversity and tolerance. The first-prize book will be published by Self Publishing Inc. and distributed in local schools and libraries.
While Varrato describes himself as outgoing rather than mellow, he identifies with the main character’s diverse group of friends.
“I’m from a diverse family,” he said. “I have a sister who is adopted, an uncle who is blind, an uncle who is gay. I’ve been raised to accept those differences.”
“For the younger kids, they have to realize others have to be accepted,” he said. “For the older kids, they have to include themselves in groups and it’s OK they’re different.”