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Youth Tennis Advantage is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving youth in inner city communities through a comprehensive program of tennis and 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.
There is a tremendous need for programs that provide activities and support for children during the after-school hours. Moreover, there is a great learning and guidance gap between school and home in low-income neighborhoods. This is especially true in low-performing schools, with high numbers of dropouts and juvenile delinquency. In 1998, the Children's Defense Fund reported the following findings: Violent crime by young people (Ages 10-17) peaks between 3 and 7 p.m. Children and teens in poor neighborhoods are struggling for direction, and positive opportunities are needed to keep them safe and on-track. In addition, a study published in Pediatrics Magazine found that eighth graders who were left alone after school reported greater use of cigarettes, marijuana, and alcohol than those in adult-supervised settings. "The lack of good summer and after-school options is especially acute in low-income neighborhoods.
Because of its broad appeal and great influence, tennis is an excellent program model which instills skills, self-esteem and character in kids preparing for adulthood. YTA programming follows the model created by tennis great Arthur Ashe in 1968. Ashe believed that tennis provided a framework for understanding oneself and navigating the world. YTA kids learn to be effective navigators of the world by experiencing and competing in a challenging learning environment both on the tennis court and in the classroom. At YTA, kids have the opportunity to master life skills, learn leadership, and express feelings in respectful ways that lead them toward healthy and productive outcomes.
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