National All-Star Winner in the 2017 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest
Vista Middle School eighth grader, Bella Irvine, is one of six national all-star winners in the 2017 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. In her essay, Bella wrote about her problem with depth perception. She has an eye disease called Strabismus which causes her eyes to fight for control and refuse to work as one. This made it hard for her to play any kind of sports. She has always wanted to join her dad and brother in a game of baseball. So, over time, and with great determination (and help from her dad), Bella learned how to better know when the ball would reach her. From there, she took up soccer. Now, she plays on the fastpitch team at shortstop and third base for Vista Middle School. “Everyone has some sort of barrier during his or her life, and no matter how intimidating or impossible it may appear, everyone has the ability to break that barrier,” said Bella.
For her winning essay, Bella received a student laptop computer. Her Aiming High class will receive a class set of the book “The Hero Two Doors Down” written by Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson.
When we interviewed Bella, she said her favorite subject in school is math because she likes working with numbers. Outside of school, Bella likes to be outdoors climbing, biking and hiking.
Teacher to Bella is Ms. Gail Smedley. Bella attends Ms. Smedley’s Aiming High Magnet Program. The essay was done as part of a class project.
Each year April 15 marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947. The Breaking Barriers Essay Contest honors this important event. It provides a chance for diverse students from across the country to share their personal stories and how they use Jackie Robinson’s nine values: citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork.
Read Bella’s Essay here
For more information:
Vista Middle School Teacher Gail Smedley, 360.383.9409, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vista Middle School Principal Heather Leighton, 383.9370, email@example.com
Director of Communications Tammy Bengen, 383.9207, firstname.lastname@example.org