Frances Tiafoe joins Dallas youth for on-court clinic to support the Frances Tiafoe Fund

Victoria Chiesa | February 07, 2024

Nearly two dozen Dallas-area youth got the opportunity of a lifetime on Tuesday with the help of Frances Tiafoe and the USTA Foundation.


The 2022 US Open semifinalist was a special guest for a tennis clinic hosted by the Dallas Tennis Education Academy at this week's ATP 250 Dallas Open in support of the Frances Tiafoe Fund, Tiafoe's eponymous philanthropic fund by the USTA Foundation.


The clinic was the first on-court activation for the Frances Tiafoe Fund, launched by the USTA's national philanthropic arm last summer. Tiafoe began his tennis career as a child at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., one of the more than 250 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters in the U.S. that provide free or low-cost tennis and education services to under-resourced kids around the country with the support of the USTA Foundation. The Frances Tiafoe Fund is one way that the next generation of American youth who participate in these programs is supported.


The DTEA is one of the largest NJTL chapters in the country, is a three-time recipient of the USTA's NJTL Chapter of the Year Award, and provides hundreds of Dallas-area kids with academic tutoring, tennis equipment and instruction, life-skills training and college preparation services each year.

“It’s great to kick off the work of this fund in Dallas,” Tiafoe said. “As someone who came up through an NJTL in my hometown of College, Park, Md., I know first-hand the impact these kinds of programs and experiences can have on kids. My goal is to help more young people reach their goals and realize that anything is possible.”


The USTA Foundation was established in 1994 as the national charitable arm of the USTA. The NJTL network was created in 1969 by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder, in the hopes of using tennis to promote character, leadership and academic excellence amongst young people. More than a half-century later, that dream is a reality: The NJTL network reaches more than 150,000 youth nationwide, and Tiafoe, as well as recent junior Grand Slam champions Robin Montgomery and Clervie Ngounoue, are among its most notable alumni.

"I think every kid needs to have that inspiration, that feel and touch," Tiafoe said. "You see someone that you can relate to, that did something special in the game, that also came through the things that you came through. NJTL changed my life. ... For me to be able to pay it forward, to be here, to hopefully do this all around the country, is a huge honor for me."


USTA Foundation CEO Ginny Ehrlich and USTA Foundation board president Kathleen Wu, a Dallas resident, were also on hand on the campus of Southern Methodist University for the event, and both hailed the event as emblematic of the work the USTA Foundation does.


"The goal is to change lives," Wu said. "We reach into under-resourced communities, we change a child's life, we change a family's life, we change an entire community's life by giving them tennis and education. It's all the lessons that come from that, in between. 


"When we do activations on court like this ... it's just a perfect example of how you can balance all those things together, and come out with drastic change in our communities across the country."

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