Jabeiro Brown of Jacksonville, Fla., and the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation after-school program was named the Boys’ 18 and Under winner in the 20th annual NJTL Essay Contest.
On Thursday the USTA Foundation, the national charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association, announced the 10 winners of the 20th annual NJTL Essay Contest. The winners range in age from 10-18 and participated in National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters nationwide. They were selected from more than 2,700 entries submitted this summer.
This year’s essay question asked: “What is the most important lesson you have learned thus far through NJTL, and how does that lesson help you in your life as a student, a tennis player, and an individual?”
The 18-year-old Brown wrote, “The most important lesson I’ve learned is to be disciplined. Discipline has made me a better student, tennis player, and individual overall…I learned that I can’t get better by being lazy…Instead of giving up, I look at how far I’ve come and continue to work even harder. Being disciplined helped me influence others as well. People look at me and are motivated because I work towards what I want and don’t settle for less.”
Each winner will receive a trip to New York City from Aug. 23-26, including round-trip airfare for the winner along with a parent/legal guardian, plus a three-night stay at the Grand Hyatt New York.
On Friday, Aug. 24, Deloitte will host the student winners, along with their chaperones, in their innovative Greenhouse. Winners will participate in an immersive experience, with activities to help the winners understand the importance of strategic thinking and networking in an engaging way. The group will also visit historic 30 Rockefeller Center’s “Top of the Rock” as well as meet with Deloitte professionals. Deloitte, one of the world’s largest professional services organizations, serves as the presenting sponsor of the NJTL essay contest and luncheon.
The winners will also have VIP status in the President’s Box as part of 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation, the annual youth celebration that precedes the US Open. The 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. The weekend will wrap-up with an awards luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 26, hosted by USTA Foundation Honorary Board Member and former New York City Mayor the Honorable David N. Dinkins. The luncheon will be held at the Yale Club, where the essay contest winners will receive an honorary plaque. This year’s emcee will be newly-appointed USTA Foundation Celebrity and Player Advisory Council member, Thaddeus M. Bullard, known as WWE superstar “Titus O’Neil.” Deloitte’s Chief Inclusion Officer, Dr. Terri Cooper, will be delivering the keynote address.
“The USTA Foundation is delighted to host another group of bright and talented NJTL students in New York City,” said Dan Faber, Executive Director, USTA Foundation. “Their heartfelt essays are a true reflection of the powerful impact that NJTL’s have on young lives and in their local communities. We are honored to recognize the national winners with this opportunity and look forward to hearing about their experience at this year’s luncheon.”
To see the full list of award winners go to www.ustafoundation.com.