HHREC Second Annual White Rose
Student Research Contest

 Jake Morton, 

Woodlands Middle School

The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) held their second annual White Rose Student Research Contest for 7th-12th grade students in the greater Westchester County area recently. The 2021/2022 contest theme was Auschwitz and the Hungarian Deportations.


This year, HHREC honored students and teachers from Irvington High School, Westchester Day School and Woodlands Middle/High School via Zoom. Participating students who chose to compete in the contest submitted essays or original documentaries based on research of primary source and secondary source materials. Student and teacher entries included:


7th and 8th Grade Winners – Rachel Tratt, Westchester Day School and Jake Morton, Woodlands Middle School; and Finalist Annshiya Pulikkottil Sam, Woodlands Middle School.


11th and 12th Grade Winner – Alexandra Pollack, Irvington High School

Sponsoring Teachers – Christopher Barry, Irvington High School; Kasie Peralta, Woodlands Middle School; and Jill Rivel, Westchester Day School.


The contest, sponsored by the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center, is named in memory of the White Rose, a resistance movement consisting of German university students. The project commemorates the efforts of the brave young people who gave their lives for what they believed in. HHREC is encouraging teachers to utilize this writing contest as a classroom exercise.


“We are pleased at the response we received this year from area teachers and their students about the program we have developed to further their knowledge of the Holocaust,” said Julie Scallero, Co-Director of Education, Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center. “This project commemorates the efforts of brave young people during the Holocaust who gave their lives for what they believed in. May their memories inspire us to reflect upon our own responsibilities as citizens in a democratic nation.”


Winning entries for the HHREC White Rose Student Research Contest were identified by a panel of Blue-Ribbon judges that included Richard Berman, Ph.D. Muma College of Business, University of South Florida; Debbie Lewis, HHREC GenerationsForward speaker; Elena Procario-Foley, Ph.D. Professor of Religious Studies, Iona College; Debbie Minchin HHREC Educators Program Committee; and Audrey Reich Art Specialist, The Birch Wathen Lenox School.


The top prize winner in each age level was awarded a cash prize, and the sponsoring teacher of each first prize winner was awarded a voucher for use on professional development and/or Holocaust resources.


 The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center is a not-for-profit organization based in White Plains that serves Westchester, Fairfield and neighboring counties. Their Mission is to enhance the teaching and learning of the lessons of the Holocaust and the right of all people to be treated with dignity and respect. They encourage students to speak up and act against all forms of bigotry and prejudice. Their work with students and teachers helps schools fulfill the New York State mandate that the Holocaust and other human rights abuses be included in their curriculum. 


Since 1994, they have brought the lessons of the Holocaust, genocide and human rights crimes to more than 1,500 teachers, and through them to thousands of middle and high school students. Through their volunteer Educators Program Committee, the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center gives teachers the unique opportunity to develop programs for themselves and others. These programs not only enrich teachers’ knowledge about the Holocaust and related issues, but they   also provide the lens through which to view all other human rights violations. 


For more information call 914.696.0738 or email info@hhrecny.org