October 13th, 2020

9 Young Writers Named NJTL Essay Section Winners

Community Tennis News

Nine young writers from National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters across Florida have been named NJTL Essay Grant Florida section winners for 2020.

Sponsored by the USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association, the 22nd annual NJTL Essay Grant was open to students age 18 and under who participate in National Junior Tennis and Learning chapters nationwide.

To apply, students were asked to answer the following prompt in fewer than 350 words: “Everyone measures success differently. How do you strive for success in terms of your character development, education, or tennis?” 

The full list of section essay winners is as follows: 

Girls 10 & Under: Rebecca Ankapong, Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation

Girls 11-12: Evelyn Nino, Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation

Boys 11-12: Elysian Rivera, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation

Girls 13-14: Jadah Clark, Aces in Motion

Boys 13-14: Acie Brown, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation

Girls 15-16: Audrianna Mosley, Aces in Motion

Boys 15-16: Javon Marshall, Aces in Motion

Boys 17-18: Jeffery Hamilton, Aces in Motion

Girls 17-18: Nylee Alston, Aces in Motion

The section winners were selected from a pool of 68 submissions by USTA Florida’s Essay Grant Review Committee. All section winners will receive a plaque that recognizes the accomplishment.

“The NJTL Essay is a great opportunity for our youth to participate in,” said Terri Florio, Executive Director of the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation. “It really helps them to develop their thought processes and writing skills. We enjoy participating each year and have been fortunate to have had many sectional winners and three national winners over the years.”

One of these young students, Nylee Alston from Aces in Motion in Gainesville, was also named the Girls’ 18 and under winner for the 2020 USTA Foundation NJTL Essay Grant. Alston, along with 9 other winners in their respective age categories, were selected from more than 1,000 entries nationwide. Each winner, along with their NJTL chapter, will receive a $6,000 grant – $5,000 to be utilized by the chapter to support the essay’s author in chapter-related programming participation costs and expenses and $1,000 to be utilized for administration of the same.

Nylee Alston, 2020 NJTL Essay Grant recipient

“This is an amazing opportunity our students can participate in every year on a national stage to express their viewpoints on topics that are relevant to them,” said Addison Staples, Executive Director of Aces in Motion. “We couldn’t be happier for Nylee as an awardee for the National NJTL Essay Grant. She has been with our program for many years and has a bright future ahead of her. We are extremely proud of her!”

The National Junior Tennis and Learning network is a nationwide network of community tennis organizations seeking to develop the character of young people through tennis and education. NJTLs are unique because they offer a variety of on-court programming as well as educational and life skill components designed to enhance a child’s overall development.

Founded in 1969, the growing network of tennis providers shares similar values, ideals and goals by reaching out to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play tennis, instilling in youngsters the values of leadership and academic excellence, and by giving all kids the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a lifetime of enjoyment from the sport.

For more information, please visit www.USTAFoundation.com.