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Youth Tennis Advantage

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Racquet Sports, Sports, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission:

YTA’s mission is to serve youth in inner city communities through a comprehensive program of tennis and academic tutoring that promotes the physical, educational, and life skills necessary to prepare and empower them for leadership in their communities and success in their personal lives.

Results: Our recent success stories include: • Over 300 unique children ages 7-18 have taken part in at least 36 hours of free after school programs at YTA’s four year round sites in the past 12 months. • Over 24 College Pathway workshops and a college field trip to UC Berkeley have attracted over 200 different children and parents from the local community and a Career Workshop scheduled later this month is creating lots of excitement from our families. • The YTA Ball Kid Team was booked for some very exciting and memorable events including the Bank of the West Classic where top level players participated and the Esurance Tennis Classic where tennis great Billie Jean King was honored at same dinner that recognized YTA as a charity. • $50,000 raised to resurface tennis courts at JMP • Jason Bacha, MD, MS PGY-2, Pediatric Resident from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and Dr. Anisha Patel of UCSF Pediatrics have partnered with YTA on a health project titled “Smart Drinks for Parks”. This project has already benefited our youth and families by drawing attention to the fact that JMP had no working drinking fountains near the tennis courts and recently two new water fountains were installed near the top bank of courts.

Target demographics: low income children in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area between the ages of 8-18.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 350

Geographic areas served: San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley

Programs: We offer a free, year-round program of individual academic tutoring, tennis instruction, and core values discussions. Our sites include Bear Trax on the campus of UC Berkeley, Mosswood and Bushrod Parks in Oakland, Hunters Point and McClaren Park in San Francisco.

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mirella R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern,
My name is Joshua and I am nine years old.So far,I like the Youth Tennis Advantage program.When I come here,it's like a dream come true.I have played tennis with my mother before,but I love playing tennis with kids more! I hope to get to know more about tennis while I am here.The next stroke I really want to learn is an overhead.I'm about to get ready to play my first tournament.I'm excited to be in this program I think you would too.

Advisor

Rating: 1

YTA has been pretending to care for their members. They do not care about any of the children they serve. They waste money given into their own personal friends and themselves.
Why waste your money or time into a program that cares only about their pockets and personal gains.
I recommend that you take your children to programs that really do make a difference in the children's lives.

Review from Guidestar

Lainey D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering once a week for a few years now, and I still love this program. The kids are wonderful, and it's fantastic when you see them excel in their schoolwork. The program does more than just help them with their schoolwork. I believe that the kids in this program build up great character and a solid foundation for doing well in life. They also are much better at tennis than I am, but I don't really mind.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youth Tennis Advantage is a wonderful program. Although I have only been volunteering for this organization since last month it is clear to me that the work YTA does for children and young adults is a great value to them. By combining both academics (matching each individual with a tutor in order to provide for the highest degree of personal attention) and physical education (tennis instruction) YTA provides a well rounded after school program.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a staff member at Youth Tennis Advantage's Bear Trax site on the UC Berkeley campus. My daughter was nine when she first introduced me to this organization. It was then known as the National Junior Tennis League of San Francisco or NJTL. As a member of the NJTL, she learned and practiced tennis skills, life skills, and job skills on and off the court. She developed long-term relationships and was supported and mentored by outstanding members of the NJTL/YTA staff and board. Through daily practices, tournaments, clinics, camps, special events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities, she was able to practice many of the skills she readily used in school and at college, and now, in her twenties, uses in her career and in the community as a volunteer.
At Bear Trax, the YTA staff, UC and community volunteers enthusiastically continue to offer participants many valuable opportunities to learn, grow, and develop skills in academics, tennis, and life which can empower them to reach their goals as well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer tutor at BearTrax in Berkeley in the Spring of 2009. I've been coming back ever since because I believe Beartrax is a great after school program. Most days, each kid is able to get one-on-one tutoring from student volunteers, so each child gets the proper attention they need when they have difficulty with their homework. Not only are the kids tutored on homework and taught tennis by a professional instructor, but they also participate in a curriculum that teaches life skills such learning how to introduce yourself. BearTrax has the whole package!

Talia B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is talia and i am 11 years old i go to bear trax and i have been at bear trax for two years i have learned a lot of life skill and tennis strokes from coach white and cynthia and the volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of BearTrax for four years and it has really come to play a large role in my life. Throughout my many years with this program, I have had the opportunity to witness the tremendous impact that it has had on the children's academic and behavioral transformations, and even on the volunteers involved, as they gradually learn how to work with the children. Overall, this is a wonderful program and I believe that more people should hear about it!

Carrie N.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer for this Beartrax program for three weeks tutoring spanish and math. The value of this program is monumental. Every week I see kids coming in eager to learn who intelligent and earnest. With the help of the volunteers they gain more confidence in their skills, and learn to control their attention and focus on the work at hand so that they can practice the tennis that they look forward to so much.

Hobart L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at BearTrax for three years now, and I've personally witnessed monumental cognitive and behavioral changes in our youth population. From relatively ill-behaved, attention-deficient, and hyperactive kids, they have grown into mature, critically-thinking adolescents. Not only do we advance their academic knowledge, but the methods with which we teach them the material encourages efficient and self-sufficient thinking when faced with novel concepts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This semester is my first semester doing BearTrax, and I'm having a great time tutoring the children! A couple weeks ago, the children got to learn some math tricks, and the joy they expressed when utilizing the tricks made my day. While I haven't had the opportunity to partake in the tennis portion, I think it's a wonderful idea that I would never have thought of. Working on homework for an hour and half before getting to spending the next hour and a half playing tennis (as well as learning core values involved with playing sports) isn't just a perfect balance of education and fun, it blends the two together into something more.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Karl and I am in the third grade. I like Bear Trax. It is very fun! I like it because we play lots of games. I've gotten better at tennis since coming to Bear Trax. My favorite game is King of The Court. Other people should come to Bear Trax because they can get better at tennis, too. You can also get help on your homework.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my second semester volunteering for YTA at Berkeley, and what brought me back was the enthusiasm of those involved. Though I've yet to play tennis with the students, the fondness they have in Coach White projects the positivity in his character and tennis coaching. Cynthia seems to have ways to work with the kids after us volunteers run out of ideas to inspire them. The students themselves are enthusiastic learners and actually care about their school work, which I believe to be the incentive of prioritising aspects of education in the criteria for competition participation. Therefore, not only does YTA instill an interest for tennis in the students, the program also inspires them to work hard in school.

Client Served

Rating: 5

YTA is an excellent after school program for my child. The staff are very supportive, positive and have given my son a once in a life time opportunity to meet the great Andre Agassi, and Michael Chang when he was awarded for the year end scholarship. My son looks forward to going there to help the little kids and learn tennis. We are forever grateful for this program and Coach White, Cynthia, Loretta and the team. Thank you YTA!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 3

YTA is a great program; however, some of the workshops need to be revamped with review of content prior to delivery. Cynthia can be helpful, however, she does not REALLY listen when a parent comes to her with a concern. Furthermore, I have seen the way she talks to some of the participants and she can be overly harsh. Coach is a good coach when he actually takes the time to work with all of the participants on the court to enhance their skills. Some parents have the expectation that he is the private coach for their children and need to be reminded they need to pay for private lessons if they expect that level of attention for their child.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a parent of a child that has been involved with the YTA program in McLaren Park, SF. The Program is an after school program to expose and teach children about tennis, sportsmanship, team work and discipline.
The Program is an Unqualified Success!
My Daughter thoroughly enjoyed herself and gained confidence both on the court and off the court. the coaches/mentors provide an excellent environment for children to learn in and feel empowered as they grow and improve.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the senior member of IMG Tennis in San Francisco, I have worked with YTA for 3 years now as our official charity for the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament. I can't speak highly enough about the service they provide to the tennis community specifically, and the Bay Area in general.
The general concept--providing children with a chance to succeed not only on the tennis court, gaining self-esteem and confidence in the process, but also teaching them to excel in the classroom--is a wonderful solution to meet the current needs and to anticipate the future needs of the children in the Bay Area. YTA gives children something positive in their life before they have the chance to get caught up in the negative distractions that cause many inner city kids to spiral from promise to despair. Many YTA graduates go on to prestigious colleges, several on scholarship. Additionally, many of the graduates return to the program to assist the newest members.
I am so impressed with the results of the Youth Tennis Advantage program that I have also become a donor, as well as a community partner.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Am so lucky to be donor & occasional volunteer for this incredible organization. Have been present at events for these great kids and although most dont have much in way of material things was just stunned by their unparalled enthusiam, hard work & joy.....truly inspired by their marvellous & very special coaches.
And accolades to Loretta Conway who has taken YTA 'up a notch'
Thank you YTA for letting me play a tiny role in your organizaation as you give way more back to me than I could ever give to you

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YTA is a fantastic non-profit organization that provides valuable after school tutoring and professional tennis instruction to kids that may non otherwise be exposed to the sport or the academic help. The atmosphere at Cal's Helman Tennis complex top notch and inspiring. I am glad to be a part of this outstanding program.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

YTA, came to a desolate and abandoned section of McLaren Park in San Francisco and made miracles happen. Within months the park was cleared of underbrush and its tennis courts were cleaned. Soon people we using the old tennis courts and then they were resurfaced. If it wasnt for YTA this long forgotten section of park would be so blighted no one would venture through it, but now its a wonderful and bright place to visit. YTA also serves the children of the neighborhood by teaching them a healthy substitute to what a teeneager normally would do to kill his time in a big city such as SF. Thanks YTA for everything!!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

YTA is a dynamic, valuable non-profit, which provides critical physical and mental skills to disadvantaged youth, who otherwise may be "hanging" in neighborhood. The healthy, fun training offered to youth by professionals encourages them to get in shape, master basic techniques and the considerable intricacies of tennis. It has often been demonstrated to what extraordinary degree this program boosts their confidence and self esteem. This self reliance motivates them to be winners on and off the court, increasing their ability to participate and learn in the classroom. As an urban resident, I wish to see more of this kind of program. The youth they are serving is our future.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm eternally impressed by the young people I have met who tell their own story firsthand about the way that YTA has made a huge difference in their lives. It demonstrates the power of sport, mentoring and manners and the impact they can have when they become part of the lives of children who otherwise might have very little guidance to help them become more successful in their lives.
I think YTA is a wonderful organization that has a positive impact on the lives of many young people in the most direct and effective way.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. It is a program that combines academics with a sport (tennis). What a fantastic idea. I found out about YTA this past fall and my daughter has been going ever since. The academic coach, Cynthia and the tennis coach, Coach White, are dedicated and committed to helping children who might otherwise not have these opportunity. My daughter enjoys the combination and likes being tutored by college students, who serve as mentors to her and these other children. It is a win/win for everyone. As a single mother, I also appreciate that my daughter is well taken care and learning. In addition, it leaves my daughter and I time to do reading rather than just concentrating on only homework every night. As a result, her reading has improved.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

The YTA does so much with the little resources they have. They in several different Bay Area communities offering tennis and tutoring to children who would not have the opportunity otherwise. Loretta Conway is a smart and dedicated ED who knows her stuff. She is a leader with the national tennis community.

I have attended several YTA fundraisers. They are always run well and bring out some major heavy hitters (excuse the pun.)

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I feel very fortunate to have my daughter participate in YTA through Bear Trax. Coach White and academic coordinator, Cynthia, along with her Cal tutors are wonderful, talented role models! The program teaches and balances sports, academics, life skills, and encourages youth leadership. The YTA academic and life skills components work in conjunction with teaching tennis to help kids succeed in life and also provides a college pathway for them to follow. It’s a fantastic program!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If the measure of success is to have made a difference in the world, to have made it a better place, then YTA has to be the epitome of success. I am the very proud partner of the director of one of the sites, and I know first hand the tremendous difference this organization makes on the lives of the kids in the programs. YTA's programs impart discipline and integrity on multiple levels, but it is both the attention to scholastics and the participation in on-the-court-tennis activities where they are supremely effective. In an age where much needed after-school programs are now non-existant, YTA is performing a service that is simply without equal. Hats off to this organization!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so excited that my daughter can participate in such a wonderful program like YTA. I grew up in this neighborhood and there were no safe places for me to play sports and get help with homework. John is the best teacher she has ever had!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a donor to YTA and believe they are doing amazing, inspring work with children in cirtical need. The staff is extremely dedicated and the administrative team top notch. I am a big believer!

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of this organization for over 40 years. I have been involved in many of the activities of the YTA especially in exposing Tennis to many disadvantaged youth throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Many well deserving youth have benefitted from the efforts of this organization, and have gone on to further education and productive lives.
It is a very well organized organization and led by an excellent and caring Executive Director in Loretta Conway.
It is always seeking financial support and anyone who reads this is welcome to support or simply get in touch with the YTA.
From a person who has been involved in the sport of tennis throughout my entire life, I sincerely support and honot the Youth Tennis Advantage,(YTA)
Thank you, Barry MacKay, Board Member since 1971.

32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am 13 years old and I'm happy to be in YTA it's really fun. (this review was entered by a GreatNonprofits staff member)

29

Client Served

Rating: 5

We watched some tennis pros play and we ate lots of food, it was very fun. (This review was entered by a Great Nonprofits staff member).

25

Client Served

Rating: 4

I really enjoy being a part of the YTA. They let you volunteer, play tournaments, and play tennis for free.

28

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got into tennis because my mom wants my sister and I to become famous like Venus and Serena Williams. (This review was entered by a Great Nonprofits staff member).

30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This like my third year going to NJTL Rally and you see them (kids) every year enjoying tennis and you see them grow up.

Previous Stories
24

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is like my third year going to NJTL Rally and you see them (kids) every year enjoying tennis and you see them grow up.

24

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

These youth tennis organizations do an awesome job giving children the opportunity to learn the game of tennis. (This review was entered by a GreatNonprofits staff member)

21

Client Served

Rating: 4

I think that it is a positive experience for me and Sharnay [her daughter] because she’s an only child, so when me and her come to these events together, first of all it helps me and her bond because we’re doing things together as a mother and a daughter. Before she was a part of YTA she would do weekend activities with her friends and other relatives, and now she does activities with me. And also it helps her with socialzation and being with other kids. It also definitely helps in terms of being outside, being active, we like that she’s learning a sport and getting skills. It’s definitely built her confidence. *This review was collected on a site visit and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

22

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It’s been great working with YTA. I was a kid once sitting in the stands and it’s a great experience to be able to give back to YTA, given that they gave me a great experience when I was younger. *This review was collected on a site visit and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer.

21

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Over the past 15 years I have had the pleasure of acting as a consultant to non-profit organizations that promote health and happiness through the great lifetime sport of tennis. Tennis changed my life from a young age and throughout my career, first as a community tennis staff member with USTA Florida, then USTA NorCal and now as Executive Director with Youth Tennis Advantage, I have seen tennis ignite the sparks of passion and committment that have positively impacted thousands of people--all ages, all cultures, all skill levels and all ethnicities. Personally, I feel if YTA can inspire more children and families to enjoy the outdoors, excercise, socialize and be eager to learn and grow...our communities and our world will benefit.

1 coach white

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teaching professional of tennis for over
25 years www.nyjtl.org, in New York with sites
from Chelsea to the Harlem Armory, mens and womens tennis North Carolina A&T;University www.northcarolina a&t;.org.,the San Francisco Tennis Club www.sftc.org. and the newley formed
Youth Tennis Advantage (1999) www.youthtennis.org. As the sitedirector for Hunters Point the past nine years has indeed been an rewarding experience. Now as site director at Bear Trax @ U.C. Berkeley have seen over fifteen (15) juniors going off to college all over the U.S. some playing on tennis teams has
continued to be our goal for our players. Working with our life-skills daily, our juniors learn to go out and be productive citizens of this society, www.firstserve.org. We will continue these dreams of Arthur Ashe to provide the oppertunity of inner city juniors to play this
game of tennis. To watch our everyday programming at Hunters Point go to http://hunters-point-tennis.com.,www.youthtennis.org.,www.firstserve.ogrg., www.beartraxblog.blogspot.com, www.grips.or

Coach White