Mikeal Carpenter Scholarship Recipient

Junior Scholarship Helps Players Reach Goals

A Testimonial to the Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program, from Mikeal C.

As a youth tennis player, Mikeal Carpenter had a vision for where he wanted to be and where he wanted his tennis game to go. He knew he wanted to eventually take his tennis talents into the collegiate level and hopefully progress from there. That is when he knew his route to get there involved tennis tournaments.

Mikeal Carpenter, Junior Player Scholarship recipient, Playing Tennis

Carpenter was successful in what he set out to do. His journey as a junior in the Mid-Atlantic Section was notable. Carpenter ranked within the top 5 in the Section and the top 100 Nationally. In 2019, he won the B18s June Sectional and was a finalist in B18s at the 2019 Zimmerman/Johnson USTA National Tournament. Currently, his tennis journey continues as a freshman on the men’s tennis team at Morgan State University. 

For Mikeal, being able to play in a variety of youth tennis tournaments was important for his path to success. So was being a 2018 USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship recipient.

Read How Below:

First, when asked how receiving a scholarship helped further his tennis game, Carpenter responded, “receiving a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic helped me a lot because I was able to play more tournaments and improve my game to go to the next level.”

Since 2013, the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship has helped young tennis players and families cover expenses related to tennis. It helps take away some of the financial worries that some families have when it comes to buying tennis equipment and shoes or adding in a few more lessons to the schedule.

Above all, it is because of generous donations from you that the scholarship program can help more children continue to play or start playing. 

“My two main goals for the future of my tennis game is to graduate from college while playing tennis, and I also want to play on the professional level at Wimbledon someday,” Carpenter said.

Read below to learn why he believes it important for you to support the Scholarship program.

Show Your Support:

Mikeal Carpenter, Junior Player Scholarship recipient, Playing Tennis at Orange Bowl

By supporting the Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship you can help more juniors in the Section achieve big goals like Mikeal. Expenses and access to tennis should not hinder any junior from being able to play the game they love. 

“People should support the scholarship program because it helps players who didn’t have the opportunity to play [in] certain tournaments the ability to play,” Carpenter said. “It really helps someone in need.”

Overall, at USTA Mid-Atlantic, we believe that neither background, location, resources, nor ability should limit any child from learning the lifetime sport of tennis. That is why the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship was developed. It provides solutions that help all children get physically active through tennis. 

How to Donate:

Help bring the love of tennis to more juniors in the Mid-Atlantic and help them reach big tennis goals. Support the Junior Player Scholarship by making a generous donation today. You can help the next junior player achieve big, just like Mikeal Carpenter. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Support the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Scholarship

Give the Gift of Opportunity to Youth Players

A Testimonial to the Mid-Atlantic Junior Scholarship Program, from Grace T.

When you make a gift to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, a charitable non-profit organization, you are helping to give the gift of opportunity to children and youth players in the region. You give the opportunity to not only learn and love tennis but to help children explore opportunities for future success that come by playing the sport. 

Grace T. scholarship recipient and shares why you should support the Mid-Atlantic Scholarship Program.

Specifically, when you give a gift, it can support the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program which helps cover tennis-related expenses for young players in need. Your gift helps real young people like Grace T., who received a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic and had this to say about her award.

Read her responses below: 

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What do you love about playing tennis? 

Grace: I love tennis because I get to compete against various leveled players and also meet new people. Tennis has helped shape my character and helped me overcome physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges. I think tennis differs from other sports because it’s something that you could play forever. It’s a well-rounded sport and a high-impact activity; it requires endurance, quick movements, coordination, etc.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: After receiving a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic, how has that enabled you to further your game or made an impact for you?

Grace: As a high-level player, receiving this scholarship helped defray the costs of travel expenses, tournament fees, and training. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic: Why do you think people should support the Mid-Atlantic junior scholarship program?

Grace: People should support this program because it gives youth the chance to participate and learn the sport. As players improve and advance, they may face financial burdens with training, competing, or traveling.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from tennis that you take with you off the court?

Grace: Every tournament I’ve played is a learning experience and tennis has taught me many lessons along my journey. It teaches you about resilience, responsibility, and commitment. 

Tennis has helped shape my character on and off the court and taught me to be ambitious. Tennis has allowed me to push through physical, mental, and emotional challenges I face during matches. 

Above all, tennis is a way for me to stay engaged with the community and stay active. 

Grace T. scholarship recipient and shares why you should support the Mid-Atlantic Scholarship Program.

There are many players in the Mid-Atlantic region just like Grace T., that need support to keep playing the game that they love. Right now, your gift can be the help that someone needs. Learn how below.

Make a tax-deductible donation and help young tennis players take their first tennis lesson or try their skills in a tournament. You can be the one that makes a difference and helps more kids gain access to tennis in a time when they need it most. Donate today! 


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Teaching Moments from Tennis

Teaching Moments from Tennis, by Autumn Schiff

Tennis is an important staple in Autumn Schiff’s life. She is an avid player, fan, and this year she coached USTA Mid-Atlantic’s summer youth programs – teaching the next generation the life-long benefits of the sport. As she completed her summer coaching, she reflected on the important “teachable moments” you get from playing tennis, which are especially reinforced when you are teaching the sport to someone new to the game.

Lessons like “approach, and put it away” or “stand tall and play to win” not only help guide a person’s tennis game but can be applied to everyday life too.

Autumn writes about her favorite teaching moments from tennis she has learned over the years and how you can apply them directly to your life.

Read more below:

Play for Love: Who couldn’t like a game that literally starts with love? The origin of this term in tennis is a mystery.  I prefer to think it is based on the idea of playing for the “love of the game” and  being a good sport.
Autumn Schiff and her daughter playing tennis.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball:  t his one is an obvious metaphor, but so true. If you take your eye off the ball [whether in tennis or in life] for even one second, you miss your shot. Stay focused!
Autumn’s first tennis tournament in 1990, she is pictured on the left.
Dig Deep and Stay Light on Your Toes: This concept requires you to stay strong, but exhibit grace. Or as leadership expert Brené Brown says, “lead with a soft front and a strong back.”
A photo of Autumn on the tennis court this summer.

Each lesson that Autumn has learned has been helpful for both her tennis game and strategy as well as her life and career. She applies what she learns on the court to how she navigates through life off the court.

To read Autumn Schiff’s full blog go to http://www.careercharters.com or click here. And let us know what life lessons you have learned from playing tennis. Share your story with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or by emailing Megan Driscoll at driscoll@mas.usta.com.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Arthur Ashe

Serving off the Court: Trinh Banks

For tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic region, making a difference starts on the tennis courts where players find themselves building character and a strong sense of community through the sport. But often among our tennis community, there are many players making a difference that reaches far beyond. 

During this unusual time and new normal of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is seeing how our tennis community is going above and beyond for others. We are excited to hear about the many ways our tennis family is stepping off the court and impacting our larger communities in the region during this time and want to share these uplifting stories. 

One such player giving back is Trinh Banks.

Trinh is an Annandale, Va., mother of four and USTA Mid-Atlantic member. As a 4.0/4.5 player, Trinh enjoys playing in USTA Leagues because of the community it provides her. League play is her opportunity to not only compete but to hang out with friends. That friendship and camaraderie helped elevate her and her teammates’ games, taking them all the way to USTA 4.5 League Nationals two times. 

Trinh Banks_Mask production
Mask Production

However, with league play on hold and social distancing in place, Trinh decided to focus her energy on giving back to the Mid-Atlantic community – and even beyond –  by sewing cloth masks and donating them.

Trinh started making masks by taking personal requests. With materials that she had on hand, she began sewing the masks and sending them to her friends and family who work in the healthcare industry. Then, using Facebook, she started donating them wherever there was a need, including sending her masks to Mississippi, Chicago, and New York City – a coronavirus hot spot.

When Mary Washington Hospital launched the 5,000-mask challenge, Trinh did not hesitate to participate. Her tennis friends jumped in as well by donating some of the materials for the masks. Trinh, with the support of her tennis friends, has contributed to the 1,600 masks that Mary Washington has received so far.

Trinh has made more than 100 masks. Now, she has added sewing surgeons caps as well. She recently shipped 30 caps to a nurse from Orlando, Fl., who is currently serving on the frontlines in New Orleans, La.

Trinh Banks_Masks to hospital workers

“I saw a need about the PPE. I have a skill and I wanted to help in any way that I can,” said Banks.

For Trinh, sewing is a family affair and she learned the skill from her parents. Her mom was a seamstress and her dad was a tailor. Trinh continues the family tradition by using this time to teach her four children, whose ages range between 8 and 12, how to sew. They’ve had an active role in helping her make the masks and are contributing in the act of kindness. In addition to having extra little hands to help, Trinh says she also uses this time to teach her kids skills that include math, planning, and preparation through sewing.

When asked for her advice on getting involved and giving back during the pandemic, particularly if you lack sewing skills, she says,  “There are different ways to contribute. One way is to donate materials such as pipe cleaners, cloth, and elastics. Another way is to pre-cut the materials and send them to someone sewing masks. Any little bit helps.”

USTA Mid-Atlantic is proud of the impact that our members are having on our community. Let us know how you or your tennis friends are going above and beyond for others and making a difference during the coronavirus pandemic by dropping us a message on social media.

For more uplifting stories to come, make sure you are following our blog via email. Scroll down and add your email address in the bottom right to get a notification when we post something new! You can also get all the latest on the USTA Mid-Atlantic’s COVID-19 response here. 

On The Way: More Safe Places to Play Tennis

Local tennis courts – whether at a public park, school, or within a community – have the power to bring people together. The tennis court is where someone can learn the sport for the first time, where friends and neighbors meet for fun competition, and where people of all backgrounds and abilities find common ground. But not all tennis courts are equal. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic strives to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and having safe, well-maintained and inviting places to play in local communities is critical to growing the game. Yet, many communities have courts with more wear-and-tear or lack accessible tennis courts completely.

That’s why we are proud to continue to offer and award our Safe Place to Play Grants. 

Safe Place to Play grants support tennis court refurbishment and construction projects in the Mid-Atlantic region to help revitalize tennis court spaces and create more opportunities for people to experience the sport.

Morgan County Tennis Association looking to fill this area with tennis courts.

At the conclusion of 2019, we awarded two local entities with grant funding to support their tennis court projects with work to begin and continue through 2020. 

The Morgan County Tennis Association (Berkeley Springs, W.Va.) – Safe Place to Play grant funding will support the continuation of their work to construct the first regulation-sized tennis facility in their local area. Without any regulation-sized tennis courts in Morgan County, this new facility will be a welcome addition to the community and will enable more people, especially children, to have access to free tennis programming. They are working with the local government, parks and recreation department and local school board on this project and received grant funding from USTA Mid-Atlantic in 2018. This additional grant funding will support the final phases of the project including construction beginning in June 2020 and court activation in the fall of 2020.

Westleigh Recreation Club (North Potomac, Md.) and MATA Sports – MATA Sports is an organization based in the Washington, D.C. area that aims to instill healthy living habits among youth through sports, especially through tennis. The organization is working to rebuild and reinvigorate the love of tennis at the Westleigh Recreation Club in North Potomac, Md., and for the surrounding community, however, the state of the existing courts has become detrimental to the effort. Grant funding from the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section will help repair, repaint, and resurface the courts; replace the backboard; and purchase new windscreens and nets.

With improved courts at Westleigh and strong community interest in tennis, MATA Sports hopes to increase tennis participation among all ages and levels. For youth, they plan to host weekly tennis events, especially beginner and introductory Net Generation events that help introduce kids to the game in fun ways. They also hope to reinstate USTA Junior Team Tennis, host competitive events and training for those juniors looking for more and offer USTA League for adults at all levels. Free sports days, scholarship opportunities and more are planned to reach even more people with tennis. Their goal is to complete the tennis court revitalization efforts by the beginning of April 2020.

Mid-Atlantic’s Safe Place to Play Grant at work in 2019.

USTA Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis, aims to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region. Quality tennis infrastructure in more Mid-Atlantic communities of all types is a key aspect of succeeding in the mission and vision of the organization.

Your tax-deductible donations support this grant program and efforts to improve and add tennis court infrastructure throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Make a donation today so that we can continue to offer even more Safe Place to Play grants to help more local tennis courts become safe, inviting places to learn and play the game. 

More information about the 2020 Safe Place to Play Grant application and process will be announced soon. 


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.