Jalen Archie, winner of the "Meet Baron Davis" Essay contest poses with his family and Baron Davis. (Photo Gallery)
The following is Jalen Archie's winning essay:
Dear Mrs. Nickolson,
The most influential person in my life is my mom, this is because she is the one that is raising me and has always been there for me. My mom teaches me the skills that I will need in life such as: responsibility, respect, caring, perseverance and integrity. She attends all my fieldtrips, volunteers at my school, helps me with my homework and takes good care of me and my sister. Whatever we need she provides it for us and more. She really teaches me how I am supposed to be as a young man.
My parents are divorced and I appreciate that my mom never says anything bad about my dad around me nor my sister. That means a lot to me. She really follows what she teaches me.
My mom teaches me that in life you have to work hard for whatever you want because nothing is given to you, it is only earned.
I love basketball and my mom has told me since I was young that I am always to put my education first and strive to be the best I can be in the class so I will have something to fall back on besides basketball. She says that in order to be a good player, I must be a team player and I must first learn the game, then once I know the game, I can play the game and be an effective player. She tells me to apply this same attitude to life.
Last month I got an award for caring and I made honor roll and I owe this to my mom because she is the one that taught me what I needed to gain those awards. If I trust in God and follow my mom I will be a successful young man.