May 07, 2004
Gant Elementary School third grader Michael Guerero recently won the national Breaking Barriers Essay Contest. His essay was among nine grand prize winners in the contest, which asks students to write about the ideals of Jackie Robinson, major league baseball’s first African American player.
Students in grades K-12 described how they have overcome barriers by remaining calm under pressure, just as Robinson did when he faced racist taunts and threats.
Michael used Robinson’s model conduct to improve his behavior toward others.
"This is important to me because I want to be a nicer person, even if they’re not nice to me," Guerero wrote. He competed against more than 5,000 entries and met Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson.
He won a laptop computer and $1,000 in Microsoft software, a jacket, and, along with his classmates, signed copies of Sharon Robinson’s book, "Promises to Keep." His class received 100 books on heroes, and he stood alongside eight of Robinson’s relatives when he was introduced at Angel Stadium.