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USTA Foundation Awards Grants, Honors Essay Winners

The USTA Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $4 million - the largest amount awarded to date - to 148 National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) chapters in 41 states and the District of Columbia this year.

The grants are designated to support under-resourced youth through tennis and education programs designed to give them the opportunity to improve their health, build their character and help them achieve academic excellence. In addition to these NJTL grants, the USTA Foundation awards individual player grants, scholarships and additional funding throughout the year.

The grants are anticipated to support more than 126,000 youth participants across the country. In total, these chapters will offer more than 81,000 hours of education and 246,000 hours of tennis activities, which includes the creation and expansion of after-school and summer camp programs.

The goal of the tennis and education programming offered by NJTLs is to provide access to kids from diverse backgrounds so they have the opportunity to access the benefits tennis offers. According to data from the 2022 NJTL enrollment survey, the total number of youth currently participating in NJTL programming is 42% African American, 21% Hispanic American, and 8% Asian American, representing a more diverse future for the sport of tennis.

To see the full list of grant recipients, click HERE


The USTA Foundation also announced the winners of the 24th annual National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Essay Contest, presented by Deloitte.

The 10 winners, aged 10 to 18, all participated in NJTL chapters nationwide and were selected from more than 1,000 entries submitted this summer.

This year’s contest centered around a quote from legendary tennis player Althea Gibson: “No matter what accomplishments you make, someone helped you." Students were asked to explain in their own words what this quote means to them. Additionally, students were asked, “Who from your NJTL chapter helped you, how did they help you, and what impact has this made on your tennis skill and/or life?”

Each winner, along with their parent/legal guardian, received a trip to New York City from Aug. 23 to Aug. 26, 2023.

During the trip, the winners and their families participated in various activities, including a tour of Deloitte’s New York City office. Students also had the opportunity to visit the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the home of the US Open, where they played tennis with retired American doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan.

Each essay contest winner also received an honorary certificate at a special luncheon held Friday, Aug. 25, at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel. Janet DeNunzio, Group Brand Director of Sponsorships at Deloitte Services LP, and Michelle Curry from the estate of Althea Gibson both provided remarks.

The essay winners are:

Girls/Boys 10 and Under

Adelaide Wrona, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education

Isaac Davydov, InnerCity Tennis

Girls/Boys 12 and Under

Cayden Simone Mathews, Semurana Tennis Association

Harshith Bharadwaj, InnerCity Tennis

Girls/Boys 14 and Under

Lauryn Price, Dallas Tennis and Education Academy

Caleb Matthews, Prince George’s Tennis & Education Foundation

Girls/Boys 16 and Under

Ayianna Jenkins-Cain, Opportunity Tennis Academy

Brady Lin, Dallas Tennis and Education Academy

Girls/Boys 18 and Under

Jeselle Ante, MH Inspiring Children

Frances Seth Rizon, Tennis Success


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About Rhiannon Potkey

Rhiannon Potkey is a veteran sportswriter with more than two decades of experience in journalism. Potkey has covered many sports at many levels and has a passion for finding great stories. Potkey has covered the U.S. Open, junior sectional and national events, college conference championships and Davis Cup matches. Potkey is currently Content Strategist for Tennis Recruiting. You can reach Rhiannon by email at [email protected].
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Page updated on Monday, September 11, 2023
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