USTA Serves recently finalized its 2012 year-end grants, and five organizations within Middle States earned the benefits.
Grants were awarded to 44 community tennis and education organizations around the nation during the spring 2012 funding cycle. Selections were made by a Grant Proposal Review Committee that consisted of USTA Serves board members and USTA national staff. Criteria included how effective programs are at combining tennis with education in order to benefit disadvantaged, at-risk children.
"USTA Serves is proud to continue to provide financial resources to organizations impacting the future of thousands of children throughout the nation, helping them to develop life skills through tennis and education," said Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director, USTA Serves.
Below is a glimpse at the five Middle States programs awarded grants:
Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Inc. (Now Legacy Youth Tennis and Education)
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
About: Founded in 1952 as the Philadelphia Tennis Patrons Association and now known as Legacy Youth Tennis and Education, its facility is currently located in East Falls (Northwest Philadelphia). With a rich legacy to boast about and a current staff of more than 30, Legacy serves over 4,500 children annually with after-school and summer programs.
Black Women in Sport Foundation
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
About: Founded in 1992 by Tina Sloan Green, Alpha Alexander, Nikki Franke, and Linda Green, Black Women in Sport Foundation is going strong in its third decade of existence. The original goals of increasing the involvement of black women in athletics and providing instruction and guidance to girls growing up in low income Philadelphia neighborhoods still holds true. In addition to just tennis, (BWSF) offers several youth sports along with clinics and specialized training. Successful BWSF alumni act as mentors during programs, and three college scholarships worth $500 or more are awarded annually.
Embrace Your Dreams
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.
About: Embrace Your Dreams consists of The First Tee and The First Serve in Leigh Valley. The youth tennis and golf programs are founded on seven principles including sportsmanship, accountability, celebrating diversity, and bridging social barriers. Several events are held at local parks throughout the summer with each focusing on both athletics and core life lessons.
Katie at the Bat Team
Location: Narbeth, Pa.
About: Founded in 2006 with the tagline, "A non-profit helping kids hit homeruns in life," the organization has done just that for more than 500 children. With several partners and an impressive list of sponsorships including the Philadelphia Phillies, Maximum Performance International, and WIP Sports Radio, Katie at the Bat expanded its after school sports programs and holds a Saturday Tennis Program. The objectives are to help inner-city children make good life choices and bridge the gap between urban and suburban communities. The organization holds an annual fundraiser and president and founder Lisa S. Hoffstein even wrote a "Kate at the Bat" book inspired by the classic ballad "Casey at the Bat."
NJTL of Trenton
Location: Trenton, N.J.
About: The National Junior Tennis and Learning organization was founded in 1975 originally known as the National Junior Tennis League of Trenton. Affiliated with USTA, it is one of 520 national chapters and was named national chapter of the year in both 2005 and 2007. NJTLT has seen much growth over the past decade and currently serves 2,500 children, many of whom are considered at-risk. Featured programs, including an enrichment camp, run during the summer with a focus on responsible behavior, academic achievement and proper nutrition. Three college or high school scholarships worth at least $2,500 are awarded each calendar year.
to learn more about the USTA Serves program.