Community News

Two SoCal Juniors Honored as NJTL Essay Winners

Darryl Nash / USTASoCal

Fri 2nd, Oct, 2020

USTA Southern California is proud to acknowledge two exceptional student-athletes who have been recognized for their winning entries to the USTA Foundation NJTL Essay Grant competition. Malachi Wroten, an 11-year old from Compton, and 16-year old Tory Bailey, Jr. of Los Angeles were chosen from among hundreds of essay submissions that answered the question, “How do you strive for success in terms of your character development, education, or tennis?”

This annual contest is open to NJTL participants nationwide, with selected essay author’s NJTL chapters receive a $6,000 grant, including $5,000 earmarked to support the essay author’s participation costs and expenses.

In his essay, First Break Academy’s Malachi Wroten noted that his role as a big brother helps him remain focused on character building. “I am striving to be the best version of myself,” he wrote. “I want to set a good example for my community through my character by being a leader. As a big brother, I am already a leader and role model because every move I make, they are watching me. I know the importance of integrity and doing the right thing. I strive to be a good example for other African American boys by treating others fairly, and being kind no matter what their race, gender, or religion is.”

Tory Bailey, Jr., who plays at the Jackie Tatum Tennis Courts with Pete Brown Junior Tennis, wrote, “The game of tennis has influenced my personality, encouraging me to build relationships with peers and adults. Tennis taught me to be committed to self-improvement. Tennis pushes me to be the best that I can be, every time I step on the court for practice, or a tournament… Tennis develops a strong individual with life values, if you stay committed to learning the game. Tennis has opened up a new world for me through personal development, competition, meeting new people, travel, and hope for a promising adult lifestyle.”

Both Malachi and Tory will be celebrated in a virtual ceremony with USTA Foundation in October. Read their entire essays below.

 

MALACHI WROTEN

My definition of success means spending the rest of my life accomplishing goals. These past four months during the coronavirus pandemic, I have been doing everything virtual and it has been very hard for me, but I continue to strive.

I am striving to be the best version of myself. I want to set a good example for my community through my character by being a leader. As a big brother, I am already a leader and role model because every move I make, they are watching me.I know the importance of integrity and doing the right thing. I strive to be a good example for other African American boys by treating others fairly, and being kind no matter what their race, gender, or religion is.

I am also striving for success in my education by practicing math, improving in English language arts, and science. As a student, I am learning to be more responsible, respectful, and kind to others. Education is really important to me and needed for me to become a successful mechanical engineer. Not only do I want to be educated, I also want to be an educator. I want to show other kids the importance of reading and to teach other children how to invest their money.

Lastly, I am striving to also become a professional tennis player, who would also be an engineer. How cool would that be? When I practice tennis, it allows me to improve my backhand and forehand skills. I want to master all of the techniques that will help me to become a great player.

In conclusion, I will continue to strive for success by working towards my goals of being a respectful young man, staying focused on my school work, and improving my athletic skills in tennis. However, I must be honest, virtual tennis is not working out so well for me. I love Mario Tennis, but it does not take the place of actually being on the court. I pray that we'll be back to interacting very soon to continue striving for the best.

 

TORY BAILEY, JR.

I am Tory E. Bailey, a 16 year old, African American, male. I live in an underserved community of South Los Angeles, CA. I am from a family of five siblings, and the only one active in a sport. Tennis has been my sport of choice from a very early age. I have enjoyed learning to play, and become competitive in the game. I am to begin my senior high school year, home schooled, Connections Academy, in the fall, 2020. I expect to graduate June, 2021, and attend college in fall 2021.

I am a working to represent my family and community positively, when in public settings, on the tennis court during a practice session, or tournaments. My home court is Jackie Tatum Tennis Courts, Harvard Park Recreational Center.

The tennis courts have become my second home. The moral codes of honesty, kindness, and helpfulness, guides my daily experiences. I am re-enforced with standards of these moral codes honesty, kindness, and helpfulness to others through tennis.

The Pete Brown Junior Tennis Program has been the steady stream of encouragement throughout my tennis experiences. The PBJTP has provided strong role models of positive support and stability. I want to be dependable like the people, who influence me on the tennis court. The tennis program provided me with an opportunity to learn, and safely participate in a fun sport that can last till one's senior years. The game of tennis has influenced my personality, encouraging me to build relationships with peers and adults. Tennis taught me to be committed to self-improvement. Tennis pushes me to be the best that I can be, every time I step on the court for practice, or a tournament.

Tennis develops a strong individual with life values, if you stay committed to learning the game. Tennis has opened up a new world for me through personal development, competition, meeting new people, travel, and hope for a promising adult lifestyle.