Winners selected in 2017 NJTL National Essay Contest

August 10, 2017 08:53 AM
By Ashley Marshall,
Ten young tennis players from across the U.S. will get the VIP experience at the US Open later this month after winning the USTA Foundation’s 2017 NJTL National Essay Contest.
The winners of the 19th annual contest were selected from more than 2,600 entrants between the ages of 10 and 18 and divided into five age groups, with a boy’s and girl's essay selected from each. 
The contest was exclusive to children who participate in National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters nationwide. This year’s question asked: "In addition to tennis, education and life skills are extremely important to the development of our youth. Which one of the three components above is most important to you, and how will it help you throughout your life?" 
To enter the contest, students were asked to write an essay of 350 words or fewer.
“On behalf of the USTA Foundation, congratulations to the 2017 NJTL National Essay Contest winners, whose thoughtful essays reflect the impact of NJTL’s focus on education and life skills,” said Dan Faber, Executive Director, USTA Foundation. 
“These winners were selected from more than 2,600 entries, and we are proud to recognize these students with a trip to the US Open in conjunction with Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. I want to thank them for sharing their stories and outlook on how tennis and education has helped to positively shape their lives. In addition, I commend the NJTL programs represented by these students, and thanks to all the NJTL chapters nationwide for encouraging participation in the contest.”
Each winner will receive a New York City travel package from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27 as part of 2017 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation, the annual youth celebration that precedes the US Open. 
In addition to return airfare and a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt 42nd Street hotel, the youngsters and their parent or guardian will have VIP status in the President’s Box during the 2017 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, Aug. 26.
The weekend will wrap up with an awards luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 27, co-hosted by USTA Foundation Chairman of the Board James Blake and former New York City Mayor and Honorary Board Member David N. Dinkins. The luncheon will be held at the Yale Club, where the essay contest winners will receive an honorary plaque.
The 10 winners of the 2017 NJTL National Essay Contest were selected in the following categories:
Category NJTL
Boys/Girls 10 and Under     
Aditya Kaul Gupta, Brookline, Mass. Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center
Maggie Shelburn, Indianapolis, Ind. NJTL of Indianapolis
Boys/Girls 12 and Under     
Dawson Pope, Collierville, Tenn. Tennis Memphis
Ducky Steward, Johns Island, S.C. City of Charleston NJTL Courting Kids 
Boys/Girls 14 and Under     
David Martin Jr., Manteca, Calif. San Joaquin Valley Tennis Academy
Kira McGrown, Wichita, Kan. McAdams Community Tennis Foundation
Boys/Girls 16 and Under     
Jaylon Bokknight, Augusta, Ga. MACH Academy
Danielle Ellsworth, Perry, Mich. Todd Martin Youth Leadership
Boys/Girls 18 and Under    
Shraiy Gupta, Pennington, N.J. NJTL of Trenton
Gail Cabahug, Albany, N.Y. 15 Love


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