Astros RBI player Kayla Robinson wins 'Breaking Barriors' essay contest

On Sunday, Major League Baseball announced that Astros RBI Softball player Kayla Robinson had been named a winner of the Jackie Robinson "Breaking Barriers" Essay Contest.

August 13th, 2018

HOUSTON, TX -- On Sunday, Major League Baseball announced that Astros RBI Softball player Kayla Robinson had been named a winner of the Jackie Robinson "Breaking Barriers" Essay Contest.

She is pictured being presented with a laptop computer by David James, MLB VP of Youth Programs. Robinson and her Astros RBI Softball team are currently competing at the RBI World Series this week in Minneapolis, MN. Robinson has been a member of the Astros Youth Academy since its opening in 2010.

For this annual contest, which is the vision of Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, participants are asked to share obstacles or challenges that they have 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 back 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.

"Kayla is a very special young lady," said Daryl Wade, Director of the Astros Youth Academy. "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."

In 2017, another member of the Astros RBI program, Drevian Nelson, also 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. His story also has a happy outcome, as he was selected in the 14th round of this year's June Draft by the Anaheim Angels, and currently plays in their minor league system.