August 25th, 2016

Lake Worth’s Cadet Wins USTA National NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest

Youth Tennis News
From left: Life skills teacher Diane Rose, Wiltchenie Cadet, and foundation director of tennis Don Cleveland

From left: Life skills teacher Diane Rose, Wiltchenie Cadet, and foundation director of tennis Don Cleveland

Wiltchenie Cadet, a 10 year old student from Lake Worth, Fla., who participates in the after-school program at the Delray Beach Youth Tennis Foundation, was named one of 10 national winners of the 2016 NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest.

Sponsored by the USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association, the 18th annual NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest was open to students age 18 and under who participate in National Junior Tennis and Learning chapters nationwide.

“We are so excited about Wiltchenie winning the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest,” said Diane Rose, life skills teacher for the Delray Youth Tennis Foundation. “It means we are really making a difference in the lives of these kids, and we can see how they are growing and how the character is developing.”

More than 2,800 entries submitted this summer paid tribute to tennis legend Althea Gibson. This year’s essay contest focused on Gibson and her ability to show unwavering strength and courage in the face of adversity, enabling her to become a trailblazer in the tennis world as the first African-American Grand Slam and U.S. Championships (precursor to the US Open) winner.

This year’s question asked: “How have your skills in tennis impacted the development of your character and how you address your personal challenges on and off the court?”

Each of the 10 winners will receive a New York City travel package from Aug. 26-28 as part of 2016 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess, the annual youth celebration that precedes the US Open. The trip includes round-trip airfare to New York City for himself/herself and a parent/legal guardian plus a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt 42nd Street, and VIP status in the USTA President’s Box during Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The weekend will wrap up with an awards luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 28, hosted by USTA Foundation chairman and former world No. 4 player James Blake, and former New York City mayor and USTA Board member David Dinkins. The luncheon will be held at the Yale Club, where the essay contest winners will receive an honorary plaque.

“This year’s Arthur Ashe Essay contest winners consist of a talented group of students from some of our most outstanding NJTL programs,” said Dan Faber, USTA Foundation executive director. “We expanded the focus of our essay question and challenged the students to reflect on the great achievements of Althea Gibson. This year’s responses were some of the most phenomenal ones we’ve read as they truly highlighted their individual experiences and personal strengths as a result of the positive impact tennis has had on their lives. We are proud of their hard work.”

In January 2014, the USTA Foundation combined with the USTA’s NJTL network, more than 500 community-based tennis and education programs serving more than 225,000 youth, to become a fully-operational foundation. NJTL has impacted millions of kids throughout the country over the past 47 years, making it the largest grassroots tennis program in the United States.

To date the USTA Foundation has awarded more than $22 million in grants and scholarships to more than 270 programs, helping to serve up dreams for thousands of children and adults throughout the country. For more information on USTA Foundation, visit