WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - A Lakota West freshman received a special visit Thursday for being a grand prize winner of the Breaking Barriers essay contest.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, visited Meggie Zahneis at her school.
Zahneis is the grand prize winner of the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life essay contest, which recognizes students for their efforts to overcome personal barriers using values exemplified by baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
Zahneis, of West Chester, was recognized during the visit and named the first-ever Breaking Barriers Envoy and MLB.com Youth Reporter, where she will be covering the Reds and items of broader interest in the sport.
Zahneis wrote about her rare Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy, type 2 disorder in her winning essay. An excerpt is below:
"I know what it's like to be different from everyone else around you, to overcome obstacles, to confront adversity. It may not be on a baseball field, but I face many of the same social and emotional barriers that Jackie Robinson did…Every day, I try to make a conscious commitment to focus on the things I CAN do, and not the ones I can't. I like to think I have the determination to forge forward with my strengths and use them to the advantage of not only myself, but of other kids with special needs. It's my dream that someday, just like Mr. Robinson paved the way for African-Americans to play baseball, I can pave the way, through my writing, for other kids with special needs."