2011 NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay winners, Martina Lam and Ashley Duong with NJTL program coordinator, David Hong.
Martina Lam and Ashley Duong, both of San Francisco were named national winners of the 13th Annual Arthur Ashe Essay & Art Contest, and will receive all-expense paid weekend trips to New York City for Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, held the weekend prior to the 2011 US Open.
The Arthur Ashe Essay & Art Contest is open to all National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) organizations across the U.S. This year contestants were asked to write or draw responses to the question, "If Arthur Ashe were alive today, what do you think would give him hope?"
Martina and Ashley will be VIPs at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day presented by Hess, attending a professional sporting event, seeing a Broadway show while in New York City, and receiving a special award at a luncheon held in their honor. Martina was a winner in the Girls 11-12 age division in the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest, while Ashley was a winner in the Girls 13-14 age division. Both girls are currently attending the USTA NorCal / NJTL Tennis Camp at Sonoma State University.
Ashe was known for taking on battles both on and off the court -- breaking barriers in the tennis world, becoming a three-time Grand Slam champion, and the first African American male to win a Grand Slam tournament. Off the court he was a social activist taking on issues like racial prejudice, AIDS, apartheid, and education. One of his many legacies includes the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL), a network of youth-serving organizations that provides tennis and education for all. His wish was for NJTL to be a resource for kids to develop skills for leadership and academic excellence.
Ten national essay winners and four national art winners were awarded trips for two to New York (Aug. 24-26, 2011) by the USTA. For more info on the NJTL go to www.njtlfirstserve.org