“Just as Jackie Robinson fought prejudice so that blacks could play Major League Baseball, I have applied some of his values in my own life and am very proud to be African-American, too.” Raymond admires Martin Luther King, Jr.because he “wanted laws that treat everyone, black and white, well.” But actually, he says, his own family is a better source for inspiration.
Today, after relearning how to walk three times, enduring daily therapy to help him breathe on his own and regain physical strength, Raymond swims and plays basketball, football and baseball — and is learning to golf.
“Sometimes I forget about the scar on my head, but the questions about it from strangers remind me that I am a survivor,” Raymond wrote in his essay.
In July, Raymond will travel to and be recognized at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
“My Outstanding Life,” the title of Raymond’s essay, tells the story of his and his parents’ remarkable determination.
There are 30 categories in which a student can enter including humor, poetry, short story, personal essay and film and animation.
Prizes include scholarships, recognition and exhibition. Some categories entries are due in January and others are due in February.(Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) BRENTWOOD — Ten-year-old Raymond Beasley V is fifth in his family’s lineage, but he’s come in first as one of two grand prize winners of the “2014 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life” essay contest.The Brentwood fifth-grader, along with a ninth-grade student from Phoenix, triumphed by writing essays revealing how they broke barriers using values demonstrated by Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson as he broke baseball’s color barrier. Paul Krey Elementary school assembly in Brentwood and by author/educator Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, during a San Francisco Giants pregame ceremony at AT&T Park, Raymond said in an interview a hero is “a person, maybe in disguise, who’s doing something very important for saving people or for changing prejudice.” Major League Baseball and Scholastic developed the Breaking Barriers essay contest with Robinson’s daughter in 1997.Three months later, it was growing back, and Raymond underwent 18 months of weekly chemotherapy.At age 6, Raymond had a second surgery that removed the tumor but left him with lost hearing in his right ear and lost feeling in the right side of his face.Everything from personal stories to poems are judged through these different competitions.Using these competitions as a motivational tool can help passionate writers get critiqued, or reluctant writers be spurred on towards top-quality work. Writers Contest Open to children Kindergarten through 3rd grade, this contest, sponsored by local PBS stations, offers students the chance to write and illustrate a story.National History Day Contest The National History Day Contest has two divisions.The Junior division is open to 6-8 grade students, while the Senior division is open to 9-12 graders.Every person who enters gets a certificate of achievement, and other prizes are awarded to the top winners.The Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards Sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, this contest is open to students in grades 7-12.