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.
Do you believe that time spent out in nature adds to your overall happiness? We do. As you listen to sounds of trees, water, and wind and see beautiful views of Mother Nature, we will show you the true meaning of the saying that "the earth has music for those who listen.
In this new uplifting series, twin sisters Judy Vig and Joy Paoletti deliver home-cooked meals to people going through hard times. Watch Joy and Judy offer their support to Victoria Gouletas, who was paralyzed after a falling tree landed on her. Watch the full video on OnlyGood.tv.
After quitting her job to travel the world for a year, this woman found her passion… in bringing life-changing care to the world's orphans.
Art classes allow young people to express themselves in important ways. Unfortunately, arts education is disappearing from schools in America; since 2008, 80% of school districts have cut funding for art programs. Simultaneously, student creativity scores have dropped. Fortunately, there are people and groups out there fighting to keep arts education present and vibrant in schools across the country.
What's more fun than watching a fashion show? How about a fashion show featuring incredibly cute dogs??
Jim Curtis is an award-winning health industry pioneer. But reaching the pinnacle of success, as he has today, was no cake-walk. Only after accepting the curveballs and challenges that life threw his way could Jim find happiness and thrive in his career.
The inaugural Universal FanCon (FanCon) is the first large-scale, 24-hour, inclusive event that celebrates the diversity of fans, the diversity of fandom, the true needs of those who love pop culture and a celebration of the differences that make us strong. Hosted at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD, April 27-29, 2018, FanCon's mission is to create a sense of belonging by providing authentic connections and experiences through fan-centric parties, programs, panels and partners.
BalletNext's search for innovation led the New York City-based company and its Artistic Director Michele Wiles to a first-of-its-kind production, a ballet called "Follin."