Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson Foundation Board Vice-Chair and daughter of baseball and civil rights great Jackie Robinson, brought gifts and awards to the top winners of the national essay contest, "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life." Sponsored by Scholastic Magazine and Major League Baseball, the essay contest recognizes students in grades four through nine for their efforts to overcome personal barriers, using the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson.
Robinson visited the Detroit, Michigan metro-area where winners Ethan Rose and Erin Walker attend school. Eighth grader Walker wrote about how she forced herself to overcome self-hatred and shyness using Jackie Robinson’s trait of persistence. Fourth-grader Ethan Rose wrote about how he petitioned to bring football back to Field Elementary School recess in his community after the principal decided too many children were being injured. He used the values of teamwork, persistence, determination, courage and excellence to craft his essay.
Peter Hanhan, a ninth grader at a Tampa, Florida area high school, received the grand prize for his powerfully written essay recounting his family's forced removal from their war-torn West Bank home. As part of his prize, Hanhan received 2012 World Series tickets and a laptop. He was also recognized at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night before the Tampa Bay Rays' game — the first pro sporting event he attended.
Watch the news story from Tampa News 8 below