Fifth Grader with Autism Wins National Essay Contest

breaking barriers essay contest


The Major League Baseball Education Program conducted the essay contest ‘Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In life’ in honor of the accomplishments of legendary Jackie Robinson. Contestants are instructed to write about a barrier in their lives and how they used one of Jackie Robinson’s nine values to face it.

These values include citizenship, determination, justice, commitment, excellence, persistence, courage, integrity, and teamwork. The goal is to teach children that obstacles are a part of life, and in turn, empower them to overcome hurdles.

There were over 16,000 essays submitted with just 10 winners selected. One of them is fifth grader Aidan Hamilton from Bethlehem Lutheran School in Lakewood, Colorado. Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, and Colorado Rockies pitcher LaTroy Hawkins presented the award at a school assembly.

For his great achievement, Aidan won himself a laptop and a new tablet for his teacher Jeff Haverkost. His classmates received No. 42 Robinson jerseys. The Colorado Rockies also donated bobble heads and more than 300 baseball tickets to the school.

For most of Aidan’s life he has struggled with epilepsy, so much so that he had to leave school halfway through the academic year. During that time, he had to re-learn how to read and write.

Just last year he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. In his essay he writes about the ways he’s different from other kids. Just like Jackie Robinson, he excluded from activities and people were often unkind to him. He can relate to how much courage it took Robinson to take the field knowing most didn’t want him there.

Despite his conditions, Aidan was able to overcome many obstacles with the help of his mother and grandmother. This year Aidan not only made honor role but achieved first honors. He knows that he may need more help than other kids but he’s still determined to be a good student quoting Robinson “I hate to lose.”

In the future, Aidan hopes to become a broadcaster- a football analyst, to be more exact. He has a gift with talking, jokingly saying he never stops speaking.

Written by Raiza Belarmino

This entry was posted in Autism Action Alerts, Autism Advocacy, Autism America, Autism Awareness, Autism Diagnosis, Autism Education, Autism News, Personal Essay and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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