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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)