By Rick Morwick
National Junior Tennis and Learning of Indianapolis was one of 43 organizations awarded a grant last month from the USTA Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association.
NJTL of Indianapolis, a Carmel-based nonprofit that offers affordable year-round tennis and education programs for youth, received a $15,000 program grant. The organization plans to use it to enhance the new after-school program at Lighthouse Charter in Indianapolis.
“Right now, the program runs two days a week, with 45 minutes focused on tutoring, homework help, etc., and 45 minutes of tennis instruction,” said Dax Lowery, NJTL of Indianapolis executive director. “In the future, we hope to expand the program in terms of the number of days and participants and to eventually add more schools.”
NJTL of Indianapolis, headquarted at the USTA Midwest offices in south Carmel, serves approximately 1,000 kids — ages 5 to 18 — through numerous classes and the new after-school program.
More than 600 kids annually participate in a six-week summer program at 14 locations throughout Indianapolis.
“The grant will be used to build on what we’ve started in our after-school tennis and education program, which is sponsored by Managed Health Services,” Lowery said. “This grant will help us strengthen and expand our after-school program in the future.”
USTA Foundation program grants are awarded to National Junior Tennis and Learning Network chapters that successfully combine tennis and education for under-resourced youth. The programs provide mentoring and college/vocational counseling and promote healthy lifestyles to combat childhood obesity.
During the 2018 funding cycle, the USTA Foundation awarded more than $1.2 million in grants to organizations that provide tennis and education to under-served youth and that are in need of program infrastructure support. NJTL of Indianapolis was among those organizations.
“We have received several grants through the years from the USTA Foundation,” Lowery said. “We were obviously elated to continue receiving financial support from the USTA Foundation.”
For more, visit ustafoundation.com.