HighFIVE: Gabriel Guillaume
Fridays are made for HighFIVEs, so we're introducing the new President of the Denver Tennis Park, Gabriel Guillaume.
The non-profit Denver Tennis Park (DTP) was born from a collaboration of educators, tennis enthusiasts and philanthropists who believed in providing kids with life skills through tennis. The organization is committed to bringing tennis to diverse communities, in part through partnerships with Denver Public Schools, University of Denver, and USTA Colorado.
Leading the way is DTP President, Gabriel Guillaume. While Guillaume has only been with DTP for a few months, his personal philosophy is a perfect fit with the DTP mission. “Tennis is an extraordinary sport contributing to a wide range of physical, mental, and social well-being. We have an obligation to bring it to everyone and, through that, commit to a better future for our kids.”
Originally from London, but raised in the US, Guillaume moved to Colorado in 1994 to attend the University of Colorado and never left. Professionally, he has led nonprofit organizations in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, and public health, and when he heard about the purpose and potential for DTP, he was immediately intrigued.
He says, “With all that is going on in our world, I believe we are asking a lot from younger generations to address key systemic issues such as poverty, racism, climate change, and weakening education. There are many ways in which we can work on these issues as well as prepare future generations to tackle them. I was looking to contribute to this cause in an engaging, fun, and accessible way and this was it.”
Guillaume is busy working on a new strategic plan which will be intended to substantially increase DTP’s capacity to bring tennis to underserved communities. The primary goal is to provide a robust set of tennis programs, while also advancing life skill development opportunities, and possibly even employment in key Denver neighborhoods. He views this as a collaborative effort and hopes to build strong connections and mentorships between DPS students and DU athletes, to develop a donor base with a priority on elevating youth tennis across Denver and through connecting DTP’s regular players and the surrounding community to the organization’s mission.
“Through communication, relationship building, and volunteer opportunities, I would like to see more of our adults and families connected to our work of bringing tennis to all communities. It may take some time, but I have faith that people want good things in their community and I think that is even more true for the tennis community.”
On-site programming will also continue to grow, thanks to a team of teaching professionals who provide an extraordinary on-court presence for both youth and adults. Guillaume knows this first-hand as he says he is “really enjoying getting reacquainted with tennis with some of our fantastic instructors”.
While Guillaume’s plans are big, his hopes for DTP are simple. “I don’t expect to change the world through tennis, but I do expect us to contribute to improving opportunities for many kids who may not otherwise have that chance.”
To learn more about what’s going on at DTP, follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @thedenvertennispark.
MidFirst Bank is one of the largest privately owned banks and this combination of size and private ownership provides our customers with a special brand of banking. We are a strong supporter of the communities we serve, investing time and money in important educational, charitable and civic organizations. Our volunteerism is powered by our employees from all of the communities in which we live and share with our customers. MidFirst Bank is a proud partner of USTA Colorado.
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