Inspiring the Next Generation of Greats: Emperess Johnson

February 23, 2023

This February, USTA Mid-Atlantic is honoring Black History Month by celebrating the stories of African Americans who have dedicated themselves to create and build community through tennis. 


This week, we are catching back up with Emperess Johnson, to learn how she is continuing to build character through tennis. She shares her first-person update with us: 


Last summer was a very busy summer for me. I had the pleasure of becoming the first recipient of the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) Fellowship program with the Fight For Children Institute. This fellowship ran from May to August and taught me skills in coaching, administration, sports business, event planning, and tournament professionalism. 


In July, I started my own Girl's Only Mentorship Program. The program mentors 10 young ladies ages 10 through 14 who live in underserved communities. We are training mentees in career development, etiquette, character growth, physical and mental well-being, and leadership development.


The highlight of my summer was meeting one of my favorite tennis players, Venus Williams, at the Citi Open Tournament. Meeting Venus was a memorable moment because she is so kind! This was a dream come true.

Currently, I am a junior at Coppin State University. I have a 4.0 cumulative GPA and have the opportunity to participate in an environment that is challenging and inspiring both academically and athletically.


Additionally, I am on Coppin’s Division 1 Women's Tennis team. I transferred to Coppin State from Tuskegee University because I wanted to be a part of a family oriented tennis program that plays to win but has fun at the same time. I am grateful to Coach Ebonye for this wonderful opportunity and we all truly love the game. 


With all that I have going on, John 13:7 is the scripture that keeps me level-headed and humble as I work to promote tennis and well-being in my community.


Check out Emperess’s original essay about playing tennis in the Mid-Atlantic.


Join our Black History Month celebration by subscribing to USTA Mid-Atlantic’s YouTube Channel and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


This year USTA Mid-Atlantic, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is celebrating 100 years of promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Get involved and show your support for the next 100 years of tennis. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

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