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USTA NorCal Celebrates Black History Month 2016

NorCal Staff  |  February 1, 2017
<h2>USTA NorCal Celebrates Black History Month 2016</h2>

February marks Black History Month, an annual celebration that began in 1926. Originated by Carter Godwin Woodson, the son of slaves who went on to earn prestigious degrees at both the Sorbonne and Harvard University, the month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln both of whom were born that month.
The remarkable contributions made to our everyday world in the face of extraordinary obstacles is what so poignantly and powerfully defines much of the African American experience and sets an inspirational example for all Americans. We at USTA Northern California are proud to lead the tennis community in honoring these fine coaches, players, parents and/or volunteers who bring tremendous value, insight and richness to the sport of tennis.



Caretha Coleman





Caretha Coleman served for 14 years as a Principal of Coleman Consulting. Ms. Coleman is an experienced consultant to organizations focusing on early stage investment and development. Ms. Coleman has worked at start-ups and new ventures on strategy development, executive coaching and organizational effectiveness. An advocate of women and minorities in business, she is an active community volunteer and mentor to young professionals and entrepreneurs across the country.

She serves as a Director of Catholic Healthcare West, Inc. Ms. Coleman served as a Director at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. An advocate for women and minorities in business, Caretha demonstrates her commitment to mentoring young professionals and entrepreneurs across the country. As a believer in philanthropy and an active leader in the community, Caretha's volunteer efforts in the non-profit world are many. She serves as Board Chair of the East Palo Alto YMCA, where she led efforts that resulted in a successful capital campaign raising $15 million dollars to build a YMCA within the community. The YMCA currently offers an array of programming and sports, including tennis.

Caretha generously gives of her time to promote diversity and social equality.  She serves on the board of the YMCA Mid-Peninsula, the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness, the advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves; and is also a member of the Nominating Committee for YMCA USA. Caretha is an American Leadership Forum Fellow. Caretha also serves on the USTA Diversity & Inclusion Committee.


Trevor Semuda - 2015 Althea Gibson College Scholarship Recipient




Trevor first picked up a tennis racket at the tender age of 7.  Like all beginners, it was difficult, nerve-wracking and stressful at first, especially the “learning how to lose” part.  By age 9 he was one of the top ten players in NorCal. 

In high school, Trevor becomes number one his varsity team.  During his senior year he went on to win BVAL Championship in singles and won two other BVALs during his time at Heritage High School.  Apart from his high school career, Trevor took part of the tournament system as well as form part of the Diversity and Inclusion traveling teams. He represented and competed on NorCal’s behalf at the ATA’s (American Tennis Association).  His coach, Mr. Harman said of Trevor, “In my opinion, Trevor is everything that a tennis coach could ask for; he works extremely hard; he’s a ferocious competitor; and he has been a wonder team leader for us.”

Trevor also gives back by doing community service helping PAL programs (Police Athletic League). In the program he worked as tennis coaches helping children improve their skills as well as helping at a homeless shelter in San Francisco called Glide. 

In 2015 he received the USTA NorCal Althea Gibson college scholarship where he will pursue a degree at Hawaii University.


Iesha Stewart




It’s always a family atmosphere here at Youth Tennis Advantage (YTA) but when it comes to YTA Mosswood Park Site Director Iesha Stewart, it’s literally ‘A YTA Family Affair’. Her father Terry is YTA Director of Programs, mother Pamela recently took over at Laney College as the YTA Site Director, older brother Haleca taught as a tennis instructor, and now her daughter Ameenah follows in her footsteps as a YTA scholar athlete member.

Tennis is Iesha’s life. From the moment she picked up her first racquet at 10 years old, she says, “I drank tennis, ate tennis, and slept tennis”. And it paid off! In two years’ time under the coaching of her parents and YTA’s own Carl Mendoza, Iesha developed a focused and nerve-free mental game; strengths she used to defeat two seeded players in her first open tournament.  Iesha quickly jumped the tennis ranks to the top 20s in Northern California and proudly held that spot throughout her junior career.


In retrospect, tennis brought Iesha to where she is now. It’s because of tennis that she took her first summer job with YTA as a Junior Tennis Instructor. And it’s because of tennis Iesha is staying with YTA.

This year Iesha leads a promising new group of young beginners at Mosswood Park. And just like Iesha’s parents have done for her, she will support and guide them.


Also new and exciting in 2016 for Iesha was being nominated and selected for the USTA NorCal Diversity & Inclusion Leadership award.  This award is given for outstanding coaching, mentoring and leadership in the minority tennis community. She received her award at the ACES (Awards Celebrating Excellence in Service) Luncheon on January 31, 2016.


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