2020 Community Champions: Danice Brown receives NJTL Founders' Service Award

December 03, 2020

WATCH: Chris Evert honors Danice Brown


On Dec. 2, the USTA's Celebrating Community Champions virtual event honored 2020 award-winners in a variety of service-based categories. In the absence of a 2020 USTA Annual Meeting, each honoree received a surprise virtual call from a tennis legend as a thank-you for their contributions to growing the game of tennis.


Danice Brown of Beaverton, Oregon, is this year's recipient of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Founders’ Service Award in recognition of her work in developing the Portland Tennis & Education (PT&E) as a thriving youth organization in the Pacific Northwest.


As executive director of the NJTL chapter for over a decade, Brown used her experience in early childhood education to transform PT&E, which uses tennis as an avenue to develop character, honesty and self-confidence in under-resourced youth, into an award-winning, four-star NJTL chapter recognized by the USTA Foundation. She also created the "Peace Circles" initiative to bring student-athletes of all ages and coaches and tutors together. Brown was committed to reinforcing the aforementioned values through “Peace Circles,” community field trips, events and daily relationship-building within the program.


By putting education as the organizational cornerstone, Brown was able to expand the NJTL's reach in the local community and achieve results: under her direction, 100 percent of the high school student-athletes at PT&E graduated on time and attended college, and the organization named the 2015 NJTL of the Year by Tennis Industry magazine.


Among her numerous individual accolades, Brown was honored by the USPTA, USTA Pacific Northwest Section and the USTA Foundation for her work, including as the section's Executive Director of the Year in 2010. After retiring in 2017, Brown nonetheless continued to contribute to NJTL consultations, mentoring and training for chapters across the country.


“Danice is a local hero for the hundreds of kids who have been impacted by her love, passion and dedication to making tennis and education accessible to people of all backgrounds,” said Craig Morris, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis.

“As a successful NJTL chapter supported by the USTA Foundation, PT&E will continue to thrive as a result of Danice's leadership, and we are thrilled to honor her with this deserving recognition.”


Established in 2010, the NJTL Founders’ Service Award was created to recognize an individual who has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to positive youth development through tennis and education, delivers outstanding service to under-resourced children with free or low-cost tennis and provides education and life-skills programming. The National Junior Tennis and Learning network was co-founded by Arthur Ashe, Charles Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder in 1969, and the award is given to those who best reflect their values. The NJTL network serves as the flagship program supported by the USTA Foundation.

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