Founded in 1969, the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network is a nationwide network of community tennis organizations that are looking to build the character of youth through education and tennis. These organizations provide free or low-cost tennis and education programming to countless under-resourced youth. Florida is the home of nearly 20 NJTL chapters across the state.
Every year, the USTA Foundation hosts an annual essay contest for NJTL youth. Essay contest winners chosen from NJTLs around the country are awarded with a trip to New York City. This year, participants are being asked to answer a question by using critical thinking skills, research, and analysis.
The question is, “Mayor David Dinkins was convinced that tennis instills confidence, character, sportsmanship and teamwork. He envisioned the sport as a vehicle to drive you closer to your dreams. Do you agree that tennis develops these positive qualities? Are there other skills or positive aspects gained from playing tennis? What are your dreams? How can tennis help you achieve those dreams and develop meaningful relationships?”
This gives the NJTL youth the opportunity to explain what the game is teaching them to apply in their everyday lives.
Magali Holt, who sits on the Florida NTJL essay review committee said this is a great way that the USTA Foundation shows their support for the NJTL community. “The essay contest is just one of the many ways that we can see the impact that the network has on their students,” she said.
Once an essay has been submitted, the Florida NJTL essay review committee looks over it, selecting one boy and one girl from each age category.
In 2021, nine writers were selected across 15 different chapters in Florida to be entered into the National contest.
The deadline to submit an essay is July 25 at 12:00 PM. See process for submitting an essay here.
To learn more visit www.ustaflorida.com/njtl and find your local chapter.