With the inaugural year of Tennis For America well under way at four sites spread across the nation, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association is opening up the VISTA application process for the second year of this national service initiative.
“Despite all the challenges we faced with COVID earlier this spring, our partners and VISTA Fellows remained committed to Tennis For America throughout these difficult times,” ITA Managing Director Dave Mullins said. “Our VISTAs have adapted to the changing landscape and are playing a significant role in the day-to-day operations of our partnering NJTLs. I believe committing to a year-of-service program has never been more important than it is right now. I am proud that the ITA and the sport of tennis is leading the way to create such an opportunity for former college athletes to help make the world just a little bit better through their unique experiences and skill sets.”
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) in conjunction with AmeriCorps VISTA and nationally recognized National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) organizations is working together to help tackle poverty through tennis in the United States. Tennis For America VISTA Fellows are placed throughout the country to utilize their elite tennis backgrounds and academic credentials to add significant value to the organizations who are making tremendous impacts with their communities.
Tennis For America will be expanding to eight host sites throughout the nation. The Sloane Stephens Foundation in Compton, California, Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland, and New York Junior Tennis and Learning will be joined by BYTE in Oakland, California; Zina Garrison Academy in Houston, Texas; TeamFAME in Newport, Rhode Island; Advantage Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio; and Inspiring Children Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Student-athletes that were members of collegiate tennis programs, along with Tennis on Campus team members and Professional Tennis Management program graduates, are encouraged to apply for the program. Applicants must be 21 years of age by June 1, 2021 and be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Applications for the second year of Tennis For America will remain open from now until May 1st, 2021 or when all 12 positions have been filled. VISTAs year of service will begin in either June, July or August and run for 12 months.
Tennis For America is a life-changing experience for not only the children being served, but also the VISTAs. Tennis For America VISTAs gain real-world experience in marketing, grant writing, fundraising, program development, and networking. VISTAs will leave their year of service more equipped and prepared for life after graduation than when they started.
The ITA is the first national sport governing body to endorse national service through the creation of a program of service, and in the process mentor vulnerable youth, help them gain access to the sport and help strengthen the popularity of tennis.