Segun's Reason To donate
Greetings. My name is Segun Eubanks. I am a father, husband, education advocate, university professor, avid tennis player and fan (biggest of my own children), and volunteer on the USTA Mid-Atlantic Board of Directors.
I grew up in a poor and working-class African-American community in Boston. While I enjoyed sports, I never really caught on in basketball or football and very few people in my neighborhood played any tennis. However, my parents were resourceful and signed me up for a special urban USTA youth tennis program at the age of 10 and I was hooked. I dedicated myself to learning and getting better, and soon tennis was my sport.
I love playing in leagues and captaining teams now, but what I love most about tennis is what it did for my children. Through watching my own children play, I saw how tennis is unique from other sports and builds character in a different way. I witnessed them problem solving and building mental fortitude. I saw them balancing their emotions and learning how to strategize on their own. Seeing how far they have come has been very rewarding. Even more important, I’ve seen the impact of tennis through special programs for low-income families, people of color, and public school students. I believe tennis opens doors for these young players even more so than other sports.
Shouldn’t all children in the Mid-Atlantic have access to tennis and experience the healthy benefits of the sport? The answer is YES, and the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship program is one way that we can help more children play the game.
The scholarship program helps reduce barriers to tennis by defraying costs associated with learning, training, and competing so that no matter background, income, or zip code, ALL children can play. With your gift today, you can help make it possible for a child to take their first tennis class or for a player to try their skills in a tournament.
Unfortunately, we’ve heard the stories of how the barriers can impact young tennis players like this shared by a 2019 scholarship recipient with us:
“I tried making the tennis team twice but got cut. The problem was that I am only able to train once a week due to the expenses we cannot cover which really affects and downgrades my level of play in general.” – 11th grade tennis player from Maryland
The USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship program helped cover some of the additional expenses this young player needed for training. Your support is needed to help so many more children in the Mid-Atlantic.
There is a real opportunity to reduce burdens so more players, like the one quoted, have the chance to keep playing, improving and reaching their goals. I know firsthand that if you put in the time and the commitment to tennis, you can have success. Through tennis, there are so many paths that can open up for children as they learn and play the sport. Since 2013, USTA Mid-Atlantic has awarded $33,000 in scholarships to 81 players. This breaks out to around $250 to $500 per player, and while this is significant, it is still not enough.
By supporting the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program with a $100 gift today, you are helping reduce financial burdens for youth players at all levels and can help young players grow.
Please consider what you are able to contribute and make a tax-deductible gift today. You will make a difference in the lives of children in the Mid-Atlantic and for the future of the sport.
If you can, please share the scholarship application with players you may know that could benefit from this opportunity.
Support the scholarship program with me. Be the one that makes a tennis dream come true and clears burdens off the path to tennis success. Please, make your gift today for the future of all children and future tennis players among us in the Mid-Atlantic.
USTA Mid-Atlantic Section
PS: I am so proud to share with you that the USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Junior Player Scholarship Program earned recognition from the Aspen Institute Project Play. Because of this program, USTA Mid-Atlantic was named a 2020 Aspen Institute Project Play Champion for upholding a vision for finding solutions so that all children can be physically active through sports.