Zack Varrato was casual about winning a $1,000 college scholarship, but that’s to be expected from the easygoing Sussex Technical High School sophomore.
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.”
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B'nai B'rith International is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
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