A sophomore at Riverbank High School entered a national essay contest last year and ended up winning. Among other accolades, she won a trip to the World Series in Kansas City last week.
Kayla Savory, as a 15-year-old freshman in Mrs. Stacy Bauer’s English class last year, wrote an essay about overcoming obstacles. It was entered in a national “Breaking Barriers” essay contest, and she won. With the win came an all-expense paid trip to the World Series, and last week, Kayla was recognized before Game 2 of the Royals-Mets series started.
During the opening, she was recognized by Sharon Robinson, granddaughter of Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player who broke the color barrier in 1947. The next year, the Dodgers moved to their current home in Los Angeles. Kayla’s essay dealt with the barriers she has faced in her young life, including family issues ranging from domestic violence to substance abuse and bipolar disorder.
Now living with her grandparents and younger brother, Kayla indicated in her essay that all facets of her life have combined to make her a stronger person and she has gained valuable lessons from each barrier she has broken through.
The ceremony was broadcast on national television, allowing Kayla’s local fans to watch it, as well as millions of viewers across the world. It followed the long first game of the series the night before, which ran 14 innings.
Both Bauer and RHS teacher/coach Monte Wood took to Facebook to display their pride and let their online friends and colleagues know of the event and Kayla’s national recognition for persevering through difficulty.
Coach Wood described Kayla as “a fantastic kid that has had to overcome numerous obstacles in her life and is an inspiration to so many here at RHS.”