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Mount Vernon Girl Wins USTA Essay Contest

Destiny Steward-Bowden, of Mount Vernon, is one of 10 winners of the 15th annual USTA/ NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest in the Girls 11-12 category.
Destiny Steward-Bowden, of Mount Vernon, is one of 10 winners of the 15th annual USTA/ NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest in the Girls 11-12 category. Photo Credit: Susan and Fred Mullane of Camera Works USA

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Destiny Steward-Bowden of Mount Vernon is one of 10 winners of the 15th annual USTA/ NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest in the Girls 11-12 category.

Steward-Bowden, along with the other winners who range in ages from 10-18, were selected from more than 1,800 essays submitted earlier this month. Each winner will receive a New York City travel package from Aug. 23-Aug. 25.

Steward-Bowden, a member of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, will receive round-trip travel to New York City for herself and a parent/legal guardian. The trip also includes two nights at the Grand Hyatt and President’s Box tickets to the 2013 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The weekend will wrap up with an awards luncheon Aug. 25, hosted by former New York City Mayor and USTA Board Member David Dinkins, where the winners will receive an honorary plaque.

Steward-Bowden has been playing tennis for six years. The budding athlete has tried dance, soccer, volleyball, ice skating and swimming, but says it was her experience after joining the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program that sold her on tennis.

"Once again, the annual Arthur Ashe essay contest provides an opportunity for NJTL students to showcase their talents through written expression,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA chief executive of Community Tennis in a prepared statement. “This year’s essay question should generate some thoughtful responses in reflecting on the principles that Arthur stood for."

To enter the contest, children were asked to write an essay of 350 words or less, responding to a specific question about Arthur Ashe and his accomplishments. This year’s question – “If you could follow in Arthur Ashe’s footsteps and give back to tennis, what would you do to give back to the game and how would it impact others?”

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