August 17, 2018

Two Mid-Atlantic teens, Rodrigo Pedraza and Grace Truong, have been awarded junior tournament player scholarships from USTA Mid-Atlantic in the first round of funding.


USTA Mid-Atlantic provides scholarships to support highly competitive junior players in need to ensure they continue to gain experience, achieve goals, practice sportsmanship and build character – all skills that can benefit junior players well beyond their years on the court.


Scholarships from USTA Mid-Atlantic are awarded in two categories: Diversity & Inclusion and High-performance, and are meant to help families pay for costs associated with tournaments and high-performance competition.


Rodrigo Pedraza, Diversity & Inclusion junior player scholarship recipient is a Maryland high-schooler and has been playing tennis since age eight. ADVERTISEMENT He began playing tennis at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park and can often be found there on the weekends giving back by volunteering to coach, according to his high school tennis coach.


“Rodrigo is a mentor, a brother, a friend and ultimately, a role model to these kids who see his success story as a potential path for themselves,” wrote high school coach William Miller in his recommendation letter for Pedraza. Coach Miller notes that Pedraza is a “young man of high character” and natural leader at school, occupying numerous leadership roles such as president of the multicultural club and captain of the tennis team.


In his scholarship application essay on why he loves tennis, Rodrigo cites the mental challenges and demands of the sport, but overwhelmingly he believes his love of tennis comes from the bonds he has made with his tennis friends and coaches, and the lessons learned through the sport such as keeping cool in stressful situations to “giving 110 percent effort all the way through.”


Grace Truong, a rising sophomore from Burke, Virginia, is the recipient of the High-performance junior tournament player scholarship. Truong not only competes in tournaments but is a USTA Junior Team Tennis and high school tennis player. She excels off the court academically earning honor roll accolades.


“Grace is the epitome of a well-rounded student athlete, excelling on and off the tennis court while simultaneously immersing in other activities,” writes her coach Craig Anderson in his recommendation letter.


He adds, “Grace Truong is natural born leader; she stands up for what she believes in and has always had a well-grounded opinion no matter what the subject. It is her mental fortitude that has allowed her to excel in so many aspects of life.”


As a non-profit organization dedicated to both the players and the game, USTA Mid-Atlantic is committed to making tennis the most accessible sport in the region and is proud to offer junior tournament players scholarship opportunities. In the last five years, we have awarded $25,550 in scholarships to junior competitive players to ensure there are no barriers to gaining the benefits of tennis.


The second cycle of the 2018 junior tournament player scholarship is currently open and accepting applications. Review the guidelines and submit an application or share the information with someone deserving.


If you would like to support the USTA Mid-Atlantic schloarship program and help us provide more awards to junior tennis athletes, make a donation to USTA Mid-Atlantic today.



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