First Colony Middle School student, Aeliya Arif, earned second place in the national “Breaking Barriers” essay contest, sponsored by Scholastic and Major League Baseball. The competition honors Jackie Robinson who broke the Major League Baseball color barrier in May of 1947.
Aeliya entered the essay contest as part of a class project of her seventh-grade English Language Arts teacher, Claud Ridgway. Each student wrote an essay that incorporated one or more of Jackie Robinson’s nine core values: courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence.
Aeliya’s essay, titled “Courage” was awarded second prize based on how well she expressed how she gained the courage to overcome prejudice.
As the second prize winner, Aeliya received a laptop computer, a class set of “Breaking Barriers” t-shirts, and books that were personally autographed by Sharon Robinson, the daughter of the legendary Hall of Fame member Jackie Robinson.
Aeliya, is the daughter of proud parents Sughra and Ali Arif of Sugar Land.