| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced the 14 winners of its 13th Annual Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest. The winning essays and art projects were selected from student entries submitted to the more than 600 USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network chapters from around the country. Students were asked to write a short essay or create an art piece based on the question: “Why do you think Arthur Ashe created the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network and how has your NJTL chapter impacted your life?” A USTA sub-committee selected the winning essays and art pieces based on the knowledge of Arthur Ashe, message clarity, and writing style demonstrated in each submission.

The contest was open to students age 18 and younger who participate in an NJTL program. The winners, who range in age from 10 to 18, each will receive a travel package to New York to attend the recently canceled Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Aug. 27. Following Kids’ Day, the winners also will attend an Awards Banquet, hosted by former New York City Mayor and former USTA Board Member David Dinkins, where they will receive an honorary plaque in recognition of their work.

“We are proud to honor this year’s contest winners who have expressed through their art work and essays what the NJTL program means to them.” said Barry Ford, director of education, advocacy and public affairs for the USTA. “Their achievements highlight the important role NJTL chapters play and have played in the growth and development of these young people. This competition, however, is not simply about celebrating the talent, energy and hard work of a few participants in NJTL programming. While it is certainly that, it is also an important educational tool, NJTL chapters use throughout the year that impacts the lives and improves the life-chances of under-served youth throughout the country.”

The 14 winners of the 2011 Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest are:

2011 Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Winners
►Iasiah Sena of Norwalk, Conn.

►Shouri Akarapu of Norwalk, Conn.

►Martina Lam of San Francisco, Calif.

►Desire Johnson of Hyattsville, Md.

►Ashley Doung of San Francisco, Calif.

►Sidak Grewal of Louisville, Ky.

►Naomi Dominguez of Ocala, Fla.

►Benjamin Bui of Portland, Ore.

►Kari Burt of Stafford, Texas

►Kristofer Yee of Las Vegas

2011 Arthur Ashe Art Contest Winners
►Shea Walk of McPherson, Kan.

►Takuma Walter of St. Petersburg, Fla.

►Clara Kim of Flushing, N.Y.

►Caleb Boyd of Silver Springs, Md.

In addition to attending the Awards Banquet, contest winners will receive tickets to Cirque du Soleil, a New York Mets baseball game, and were to be guests in the USTA President’s Box for the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess stadium show on Aug. 27 before the event was canceled.