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Breaking Barriers Essay Winner: Gabrielle Porter

West Hills Middle School had a surprise ceremony on April 15, 2019, for the entire 8th grade, featuring two players from the Detroit Tigers - Josh Harrison and Niko Goodrum - to celebrate student Gabrielle Porter's winning essay in the Breaking Barriers writing contest. The contest is hosted by Scholastic, and is inspired by Jackie Robinson's life and legacy. Each year, Mr. Honeyman's 8th grade students write and submit their essays, and over the years, several of Honeyman's students have placed as top winners.  This year, in honor of what would have been Jackie Robinson's 100th birthday, the Detroit Tigers are celebrating essay winners in a big way. Gabrielle Porter and Mark Honeyman will attend the Tigers game on April 16 - with Honeyman throwing the first pitch. And on May 16, all West Hills Middle School 8th grade students are invited to attend a Tigers baseball game, thanks to Porter's extraordinary essay.  

Honeyman shares, "Students have more power than they ever realize to change the world. I'm so incredibly proud of all of them. I'm particularly proud of Gabrielle Porter. She wrote one of the most raw, real, gritty, deep essays I've read in 35 years as an educator. It was incredibly profound, and she grappled with something that many people don't have to face.  She found a way to not only triumph over it, but to become a stronger, better person because of it. It is a true honor for me to honor Gabrielle, for being one of the top ten in the entire country, grades 4 - 9 combined, from tens of thousands of essays."  Congratulations to Gabrielle Porter for her winning essay, and to Mr. Honeyman for his leadership, heralding students to make a difference and change their worlds through writing.

About Jackie Robinson Day - April 15 (from MLB)
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke Baseball's color barrier when he made his historic MLB debut. Every year on April 15, Baseball honors Jackie's legacy by celebrating his life, values and accomplishments. The extensive and unified League-wide show of support has included retiring Jackie's number throughout the Majors in 1997; dedicating April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004; and requesting that every player and all on-field personnel wear his No. 42 during games scheduled on Jackie Robinson Day since 2009.


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