SURGOINSVILLE — Sharon Robinson, along with Major League Baseball and Scholastic, has announced the Grand Prize Winner of the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest 7-9 division.

She is Eliza Smith, an eighth-grade student at Surgoinsville Middle School.

Robinson personally called Eliza’s classroom on April 4, 2019, to congratulate her for being the grand prize winner of the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.

Each year, April 15 marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947. Honoring this important event, the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest is a chance for diverse students of all backgrounds in grades 4–9 to share their personal stories about how they use Jackie Robinson’s nine values to face their own barriers.

Eliza wrote an essay in which she discussed her own personal barrier and how she overcame that barrier using one of Robinson’s nine values – citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence, and teamwork.

Her organized and expressive essay showed incredible honesty in overcoming her own personal barrier and how she “… used teamwork, persistence, and integrity to conquer my own personal barriers and free the confidence within me.”

On April 25, 2019, at 1 p.m., Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson and Consultant, Community Affairs and Educational Programming for Major League Baseball, will be coming to Surgoinsville Middle School to meet with the entire school in the gymnasium. She will then go into Eliza’s classroom to honor her great accomplishment by presenting Eliza and her classmates with autographed copies of Ms. Robinson’s book, t-shirts, laptops for Eliza and her teacher, and a trip for Eliza and her family to the 2019 MLB World Series.