Tennis Program Helps Low Income Teens Develop Resilience On and Off the Court

Tennis is a popular and fun pastime, in that it requires mental focus and athletic ability. But due to the cost of equipment and court time, lots of kids never get the chance to try their hand at the sport. Leaders of the Junior Tennis Champion Center (JTCC) recognized this cost challenge, and decided to do something to change it. In 2009, JTCC launched a Community Outreach initiative, with the goal of introducing underserved kids in Prince George's County, MD, and Washington, DC to tennis. And the program has become an indisputable success.


For anyone unfamiliar with JTCC, it's a program based on a mentoring model: JTCC recruits high-performing student-athletes in their early teens to become role models for pre-teen youth in their communities. To date, the program has reached more than 2,800 kids—amazing!

One of these teens is Robin Montgomery, whose story illustrates how important JTCC can be in a young person's life. Robin was just 5 years old when her mother brought her to start training at JTCC. Thanks to JTCC's emphasis on making tennis accessible to all, Robin was granted a scholarship. Today, Robin is 13 and a worldwide tennis star.

Robin's list of accomplishments and awards is incredible, especially given her young age! Just to name a few: Robin achieved a #1 ranking in her USTA section, and #30 in the nation; in August 2016, she made her international debut at Coupe Le Blanc in Montreal, Canada, where she helped Team USA reach the top step of the podium; and in the summer of 2017, Robin won her first national title at the USTA National Girls' 14 Doubles Clay Court Championship.

In addition to her star qualities on the court, Robin has distinguished herself off-court as well. Recently, the young athlete won a prize in the USTA Foundation's prestigious National Junior Tennis and Learning Essay Contest.

"Not only does JTCC focus on tennis and the competitive aspect of it, but its life-long lessons: problem-solving, excellent character, sportsmanship. It's a positive part of your life," says Robin's mom Gabby.

Most recently, Robin lived up to the off-court lessons of the JTCC through her involvement in establishing a community outreach site at Hope Community Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. She takes seriously the emphasis that JTCC puts on student-athletes becoming role models for kids in their communities. And she has been recognized for it: Robin received the 2017 FILA REACH (Realizing Extraordinary Accomplishments with Courage and Humility) Award.

Thanks in part to the JTCC and its unique program, Robin has achieved an incredible amount in just 13 years. "JTCC will always have a special place in my heart," she says with a smile.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Tracy Chevrier, shot by Adam Morrell, and edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring videos, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

A Dog's Journey Home - Episode 8

New from OnlyGood.tv! In A Dog's Journey Home, Episode 8, see the dedicated Tracy's Dogs team in action, led by Tracy and Scott Whyatt, as they work tirelessly to save the lives of thousands of dogs and find them proper homes across the country. In this episode, the Tracy's Dogs team continue their heartfelt efforts of coordinating 45 adoptions and family reunions in Darien, IL! You are guaranteed to smile (and maybe cry!) as you meet the sweet rescue dogs and the loving families who are opening their hearts and homes. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!

To see all of the Dog's Journey Home episodes, start your FREE TRIAL today!

Keep reading... Show less

Learn the Unwritten Recipe Behind This Cookie’s Crunch

Not every kitchen creation comes from a cookbook. Sometimes it's the story about the snack that makes it taste that much better! Learn the family secrets that make this unique cookie creation so special on this brand new episode of Unwritten Recipes with Felicia Levinson, a HooplaHa Original Series. Felicia, mother, thespian and comfort food creator, concocts dishes from the recipes she learned from mother, grandmother and other special family moments. Every dish comes with a story and every one is packaged with love.

Keep reading... Show less

Growing up Good - Episode 1

New from OnlyGood.tv! Award-winning journalist Deanne Goodman has dedicated her career to creating content that inspires people to do good. In this new OGTV series Growing Up Good, Deanne speaks to her most impressionable audience yet—her 11-month-old daughter, Jade. Deanne will show parents and kids what it means to "grow up good," and how it's possible to raise children in a world where light trumps darkness. Today's episode is about "good neighbors", watch Deanne shine a light on positivity and kindness! Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!

Start your FREE TRIAL today!

Keep reading... Show less

The Weekly Good - Episode 27

New from OnlyGood.tv! Every week, Marysol Castro highlights the GOOD in the world. Today, its fashion, fame and the perfect potato latkes. Marysol kicks off the holiday season with the story of how Ashlee Muhammad's unique style is breaking through in NYC and how Caly Bevier's music led to a DJ turn on Radio Disney. In her interview, watch Marysol hear the story and get a taste of Felicia Levinson's Hanukkah family treat from her "Unwritten Recipes" food blog. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!

Start your FREE TRIAL today!

Keep reading... Show less

Ashlee Muhammad

New from OnlyGood.tv! Ashlee Muhammad was born blind in one eye. She spent much of her life being bullied for being "different" and yearned to fit in...until she finally realized she was born to stand out! Today, Ashlee is an emerging designer fusing fashion with social activism of self-love and empowerment for women through her signature brand, #BeEyeConic. She is the style curator for Harlem Haberdashery--a trendy boutique in NYC and co-hosts the #HappilyEverMuhammad podcast. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!

Start your FREE TRIAL today!

Keep reading... Show less

Caly On The Good - Episode 6

New from OnlyGood.tv!. Caly's stardom continues to grow as she's given the exciting opportunity to interview with Radio Disney and hosts! Get a behind the scenes look into the life of this up-and-coming artist in this new episode of "Caly On The Good". Exclusively on OnlyGood.tv! Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!

Start your FREE TRIAL today!

Keep reading... Show less

The Weekly Good - Episode 26

New from OnlyGood.tv! Every week, Marysol Castro highlights the GOOD in the world. You'll love the heartwarming story about Megan Bomgaars that Marysol shares today. Megan is the A&E; reality TV star and Down Syndrome advocate who refuses to ever be limited!

Marysol also commemorates the 2008 Mumbai Attacks and chats with one of The Red Bulletin's Heroes of the Year, Mario Bonfante Jr. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!

Start your FREE TRIAL today!

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive New Videos
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood.tv

mailbox

Get your Only Good Newsletter