September 7, 2018

Two young tennis players from the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section were winners in the 20th annual National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Essay Contest and got to represent their NJTL Chapter at the US Open in a special VIP experience. The winners participate in NJTL and were among eight others selected for this honor from more than 2,700 entries submitted this summer.


Andrea Nicholson of Washington, D.C., was the winner in the Boys/Girls 10 and Under category and she represents the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation. Gabrielle Pierce also of Washington, D.C., was the winner in the Boys/Girls 12 and Under category and she represents the Metropolitan Tennis and Education Group.


Both girls adeptly answered the essay question, “What is the most important lesson you have learned thus far through NJTL, and how does that lesson help you in your life as a student, a tennis player, and an individual?” in 350 words or less.  Their thought-provoking entries stood out among the thousands received earning them this prestigious award and opportunity to experience the US Open in a unique way.



Each winner received a trip to New York City with their parent/legal guardian from Aug. 23 to Aug. 26. On Friday, Aug. 24, Deloitte, the presenting sponsor of the NJTL essay contest and luncheon, hosted the student winners, along with their chaperones, in their innovative Greenhouse™. Winners participated in an immersive experience, with activities to help the winners understand the importance of strategic thinking and networking in an engaging way.


The winners also had VIP status in the President’s Box as part of 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation, the annual youth celebration that precedes the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open.


The weekend wrapped-up with an awards luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 26, hosted by USTA Foundation Honorary Board Member, and former New York City Mayor, the Honorable David N. Dinkins, during which Nicholson and Pierce each received an honorary plaque.


The girls got to rub shoulders with USTA President Katrina Adams, the Honorable David N. Dinkins, and Thaddeus M. Bullard, known as WWE superstar “Titus O’Neil,” this year’s emcee and newly-appointed USTA Foundation Celebrity and Player Advisory Council member.


The National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network is a nationwide network of community tennis organizations seeking to develop the character of young people through tennis and education. NJTLs are unique because they offer a variety of on-court programming and also educational and life skill components designed to enhance a child’s overall development.


The USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is proud of our NJTL chapters and especially of this year’s essay contest winners that represented their chapters honorably during this special experience.


To see photos of the local winners at the US Open and Awards Luncheon, click here.



Related Articles