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Astros RBI player pens 'Breaking Barriers' winner

Kayla Robinson's essay detailed challenges family faced after Harvey, Katrina
MLB.com @DeeshaThosar

Astros RBI softball player Kayla Robinson has been named a winner of the Jackie Robinson "Breaking Barriers" Essay Contest, Major League Baseball announced on Monday. Robinson's win marks the second consecutive year that a member of the Astros RBI program has been selected as a winner of the contest.

"Kayla is a very special young lady," said Astros Youth Academy director Daryl Wade. "She was a little girl when we first opened the Academy, playing baseball with the boys, and was one of the better players. Once we got the softball program going, she worked hard to become one of our best. We are very proud of her."

Astros RBI softball player Kayla Robinson has been named a winner of the Jackie Robinson "Breaking Barriers" Essay Contest, Major League Baseball announced on Monday. Robinson's win marks the second consecutive year that a member of the Astros RBI program has been selected as a winner of the contest.

"Kayla is a very special young lady," said Astros Youth Academy director Daryl Wade. "She was a little girl when we first opened the Academy, playing baseball with the boys, and was one of the better players. Once we got the softball program going, she worked hard to become one of our best. We are very proud of her."

Robinson has been a member of the Astros Youth Academy since its opening in 2010. Robinson and her Astros RBI softball team are competing at the RBI World Series this week in Minneapolis. She was presented with a laptop by vice president of youth programs David James for her efforts.

For this annual contest -- a unique vision of Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson -- participants are asked to share obstacles or challenges they had to overcome in life. Kayla Robinson's entry, entitled "The Storm," is an emotional story of how she and her family have had to overcome the devastation and loss caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Hurricane Katrina while living in Louisiana in 2005 and other storms. It is an uplifting account of how she has managed to draw the strength to find success, despite the obstacles. In the fall, Robinson will be attending Grambling State University, where she will play softball on a scholarship.

In 2017, another member of the Astros RBI program, Drevian Nelson, won the Jackie Robinson "Breaking Barriers" Essay Contest. Nelson's winning essay detailed how he managed to overcome the loss of his mother, who died of cancer when he was 10 years old. Nelson was selected in the 14th round of this year's Draft by the Angels, and he now plays in their Minor League system.

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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