Young resident of eastern New Orleans rewarded for efforts in tennis, literacy _lowres

Photo provided by AÕs & AcesÑJaÕBriel Weston, 11, left, composed his prize-winning essay with some coaching from AÕs & Aces lead instructor Dominique Stone.

Ja’Briel Weston, 11, has a powerful forehand, but his pen is mighty, too. He wrote an essay for the 2014 Arthur Ashe Essay Contest that was chosen best in Louisiana.

The prize, awarded by the United States Tennis Association Southern Section, is an all-expense-paid trip for him and a chaperone to the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina.

Ja’Briel was introduced to tennis this summer in the A’s & Aces Literacy & Tennis Camp at the NORDC Joe Brown Tennis Center. The eastern New Orleans resident had just completed fifth grade at Conquering Word Christian Academy.

“Any time he had a moment’s break in our day, he would ask for a racket and balls and go hit against the wall, which really improved his game,” coach Andrew Davis said.

As a participant in A’s & Aces, Ja’Briel was eligible to submit his thoughts on the 2014 essay topic: “Arthur Ashe used his time and skills to impact others; how have you used your time and skills learned through tennis and educational programming to impact the lives of those around you?” His three-page response, composed under the tutelage of lead instructor Dominique Stone, thoughtfully described his efforts to help schoolmates and fellow campers.