The Arthur Ashe Essay Contest honors Arthur Ashe, who was an excellent tennis player, the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam tournament, and a social activist. Arthur was a strong advocate for racial equality, both on and off the court. He also was a social activist for issues like the apartheid and educuation. He won the 1968 U.S. Open, which is an incredible accomplishment, but Arthur's legacy also lives on through the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL). The NJTL is a network of youth-serving chapters that bring tennis and education to all. Arthur wanted kids to improve their lives with leadership opportunities and academic growth. Every year, a different question is posed to the NJTL community and this year the question was: Who is a local NJTL hero in your community that resembles what Mr. Pasarell has done through NJTL?
We are incredibly proud of the numerous Freds who submitted essays to the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest and did so well! At The Fort, we had four Freds become finalists in the Midwest area. These Freds wrote essays about our awesome Fort coaches like Judy Long and David Stingley. They are: Angel Aguilar, Sarena Horng, Demetrius Lewis, and Fartun Hassan.
We also had one National 17-18 Year Old Winner, Christian Ruas! Christian wrote about Coach Austin, and the impact Austin has had on his tennis game and in his life. The national prize for Christian and Austin is a trip to New York City. Austin and Christian will get to go to the U.S. Open and Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. Congratulations!
We also celebrated with a USTA-sponsored ice cream party for these great Freds of The Fort!