Alif finished second place in a national essay writing contest for Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life, an education program. Students in grades 4-8 wrote about how they embody the values that Jackie Robinson showed in his life.
Alif, 13, wrote about an experience that happened when she was 10 years old. Some strangers called her a terrorist because she wore a scarf on her head, but Alif told her father that she didn't want to retaliate against the men.
"What's important about it is that Aeliya took the initiative," Robinson said. "She directed how they were going to handle the outcome of this. She did not take it personal. She realized that it was something she's going to have to face in her life and she could be stronger."
For her essay, Alif will receive a laptop computer. She said she spent three days writing, editing and making her words meaningful.
"I wrote down my feelings on paper and told the world," Alif said.