NYJTL Appoints New Executive Director of Development

New York Junior Tennis & Learning is pleased to announce that Angie A. Calderwood has been named the Executive Director of Development, effective November 1, 2017.

Prior to joining the NYJTL team, Ms. Calderwood was most recently the Director of Individual Giving at the Morgan Library & Museum, responsible for raising over $3 million in membership and general operating funds. She has also held various fundraising positions at other prominent New York City institutions such as the Metropolitan Opera, Central Park Conservancy, and the Museum of Modern Art.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the team at NYJTL. My love of the sport and our great city made the mission of developing the character of young people through tennis and education resonate strongly, and I am passionate about enabling NYJTL to expand its impact on the lives of children in all five boroughs,” said Calderwood.

A graduate of Williams College, Ms. Calderwood is a native of Savannah, GA and resides in Manhattan with her husband and two dogs.

About NYJTL:

The mission of New York Junior Tennis & Learning is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.  Since 1971, NYJTL has changed lives through tennis, education, healthy living, and character development programs.  Today, it is the largest youth tennis and education non-profit in the nation, reaching 75,000 K-12 New York City youth.

In June 2015, the $26.5 million Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning opened its doors as the flagship home of NYJTL in the heart of the South Bronx.  In April 2017, the Center completed its final phase of construction and opened the Pershing Square Stadium, the Victor Kiam Stadium, and the Dalia and Larry Leeds Viewing Bridge.  The Cary Leeds Center provides more than 6,000 hours of free tennis court time annually to the community’s underserved youth.

NYJTL celebrates the diversity of the children who participate in every program, providing 3,000,000 hours of year-round programming that serves youth from all five boroughs.  All NYJTL community tennis and afterschool programs are offered at no cost to its participants.

NYJTL recognized as FIRST National Sports Organization of Character

New York Junior Tennis & Learning becomes a national leader in character development education and practices with its certification and partnership with Character.org.  NYJTL is the largest youth tennis and education non-profit in the nation and serves children in all five boroughs in New York City.  With this certification, NYJTL becomes one of two organizations in the nation to be recognized as a Sports Organization of Character.

The certification is awarded after a lengthy eight part approval process, a comprehensive understanding of the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, and a commitment to on-going site visits from Character.org.  “At Character.org, we are extremely proud of the inaugural group of National Sports Organizations of Character.  Their dedication to character development has proven over time to increase the well-being of so many young people, their families and their communities,” said Doug Karr, Character.org’s President & CEO.

“The partnership between Character.org and NYJTL was organic in nature as NYJTL’s mission statement is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court,” said George Guimaraes, NYJTL President & CEO.  This certification validates NYJTL’s character development initiatives and serves as national model to be replicated for like-minded organizations.   The First Tee shares the honor with NYJTL as the only other organization to be recognized and certified.

Zeroing in with laser focus, NYJTL has defined its vision to enable youth to “Grow with the Game”.  As part of an impact measurement study conducted over the last 18 months, NYJTL has determined that life skills learned through tennis and education are the catalyst for long-term achievement.  Recognizing that character development and healthy living play a major role in development, the organization has looked to expand its resources, knowledge base, and offerings to NYC youth.

“Tennis is our tool to build life-changing social, academic and career networks, giving children the best chance for individual growth and success. We are weaving a character-driven mission, core values and a caring community structure throughout our initiatives. Through comprehensive, meaningful and positive youth engagement strategies, NYJTL builds character in under-resourced youth living in the most challenging neighborhoods in New York City for a lifetime of success on and off the court,” said Jessica Kruskamp, NYJTL Chief Education Officer.

New York Junior Tennis & Learning has served as a leader in grass roots tennis instruction in New York City with over 45 years of continuous service.  Early this year to enrich its educational offerings, NYJTL partnered with First Book to distribute over 6,000 developmental level books to its student athletes as part of its ongoing commitment to assist long term growth and achievement.

About NYJTL:

The mission of New York Junior Tennis & Learning is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.  Since 1971, NYJTL has changed lives through tennis, education, healthy living, and character development programs.  Today, it is the largest youth tennis and education non-profit in the nation, reaching 75,000 K-12 New York City youth.

In June 2015, the $26.5 million Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning opened its doors as the flagship home of NYJTL in the heart of the South Bronx.  In April 2017, the Center completed its final phase of construction and opened the Pershing Square Stadium, the Victor Kiam Stadium, and the Dalia and Larry Leeds Viewing Bridge.  The Cary Leeds Center provides more than 6,000 hours of free tennis court time annually to the community’s underserved youth.

NYJTL celebrates the diversity of the children who participate in every program, providing 3,000,000 hours of year-round programming that serves youth from all five boroughs.  All NYJTL community tennis and afterschool programs are offered at no cost to its participants.

About Character.Org:

Founded in 1993, Character.org, is a national non-profit based in Washington, D.C. The mission of the organization is to provide leadership and advocacy for character worldwide.  It is dedicated to help people everywhere become educated, inspired and empowered to be ethical and compassionate citizens.  Charcater.org validates character initiatives in schools, sports, families and the workplace through certifications and sharing best practices.  Results of effective character initiatives in schools typically include improved academic achievement, a decline in behavioral problems and an increase in an overall positive school climate.

Character education is an approach to organizational culture and climate improvement that supports the social, emotional and ethical development of young people.  It is the proactive and intentional efforts by schools, districts, communities and states to help young people develop important core ethical (recognizing what’s right) and performances (doing what’s right) values such as caring, honesty, diligence, fairness, fortitude, responsibility, grit, creativity, critical thinking and respect for self and others.

NYJTL in the news

New York City was treated to another electrifying US Open and tennis captured the attention of the world once again this season.  New York Junior Tennis & Learning is proud to be part of this community and understands the impact that the tennis can have on a child, a family and a city. Follow the stories of NYJTL and see how tennis and education are shaping the next generation. “Through tennis, lives can be changed and spirits reclaimed.” – Arthur Ashe
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The Today Show
The Ntonga family, an NYJTL family who immigrated from Cameroon, discovered the courts at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning and made tennis an important part of their family’s journey. The Today Show has a special surprise for them!
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The NY Times
New York Junior Tennis & Learning provides free tennis to children in all five boroughs of New York City. The NY Times shines a light on the work of NYJTL and the many children it serves.
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WPIX11

Christopher Perez wasn’t playing tennis a year ago, but all that changed when this Bronx-based teen discovered the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning. Christopher first started in the NYJTL FACES program, but after a year of diligent work and great passion for tennis, he decided to take his next step in training to try out for the Advanced Training Program, and got accepted!  Watch WPIX11 followed his progress and learn what tennis is doing for Christopher.
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Bronx News12

Millie and Mercy Ortiz, twin sisters have fallen in love with the sport of tennis.  The Bronx sisters have been long standing players in NYJTL programs, frequent the Cary Leeds Center, and just recently made the new Intensive Training Program.  Bronx News 12 follows their story.

Liezel and Tony Huber lead the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning!

After a very successful summer, the Hubers have decided to make New York their home. Liezel has been appointed Executive Director of Tennis and Tony has been named Director of High Performance Tennis effective Monday, September 4.

Liezel spent 199 weeks as the #1 Doubles player in the world, won 7 Grand Slam Doubles titles, and is a three time OlympianLiezel and Tony welcome you to join them on court at the Cary Leeds Center this Fall, beginning September 14!

Expect to hear from the team in the next days as we update pricing and finalize details!  To contact the Center, call 718.247.7420 or email caryleedsinfo@nyjtl.org

The mission of New York Junior Tennis & Learning is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court.

About the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning:

The $26.5 million Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning is the flagship home of NYJTL.  The award-winning facility includes a two-story 12,600 square foot clubhouse with classrooms, access to 20 courts with 10 covered during the winter months and two stadium and exhibition courts, which seat up to 800 spectators

NYJTL’s Collaboration with First Book

NYJTL is happy to partner with First Book in an effort to expand available academic enrichment to children in all five boroughs of New York City.  This first-year collaboration has laid out the groundwork for developing appropriate level reading material for the many varying ages and skill levels that the organization represents throughout its programming.

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides learning materials, new books, and many other resources to children around the nation in need. Since their establishment in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 160 million books and other educational resources to programs and schools around the United States and Canada aiding children from low-income families.  First Book assists a growing network of educators and programs serving children in need.

The Walt Disney Company donated $100,000 to First Book to help them with the education of low-income families.  Through this grant, per the request of Disney, NYJTL received a grant to help the children of our organization to accelerate in their education. The longstanding relationship between Disney and NYJTL, and First Book’s grant, a literacy center at NYJTL’s flagship facility, the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, will serve families in NYC Community District 3 within the next few weeks.  These literacy resources will be housed in the Disney Creative Learning Center, a space at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning dedicated to the creativity, learning, and achievement of NYC youth.

As part of NYJTL’s strategic plan to reach more youth through academic enrichment, NYJTL will also be developing mobile literacy centers for city-wide youth who access NYJTL’s free community tennis programming on NYC public tennis courts in the five boroughs.  NYJTL will be equipping ACES comprehensive afterschool school-based programs, which serve 3,500 students daily in year-round tennis & enrichment programming, with a reading nook to support and engage students during homework time.

NYJTL strongly believes that life skills gained through tennis are the catalyst for educational achievement, and combined with academic enrichment and programs like First Book, NYJTL can prepare youth for long term success and opportunity.  NYJTL will be able to further academics, build a community through reading clubs, and enhance creative learning in native English speakers and English learners through the 6,000 English and Spanish books granted by First Book.  Working with First Book’s “Book Concierge”, NYJTL identified a wide variety of books for students in grades K-12 in categories such as health and wellness, character development, anti-bullying, community, and friendship.  NYJTL is looking forward to partnering with First Book in the future for their expertise in curating appropriate reading materials for all development levels and for their insight and interest in today’s youth.

These partnerships with First Book and Disney “has been a dream come true,” said Chief Education Officer Jessica Kruskamp.  In creating NYJTL’s strategic education for academic enrichment goals, Jessica has worked closely with these organizations to access the right tools for NYJTL kids.  Jessica said that “when all 6,000 books arrived – just box after box (after box) of free, brand new beautiful books with titles I knew the kids would love, I kept imagining two things.  First was our students, exhausted and triumphant from giving it their all on the court on these hot New York City Summer Days, carefully selecting a book and marveling over the embossed spines, settling in to rest and engage their imaginations. Then, I think of the statue of Arthur Ashe in Richmond, Virginia, with his arms in a triumphant pose, held high with a book in one hand and a tennis racquet in another. I’m proud of NYJTL’s commitment to the educational achievement of our students and so grateful to Disney and First Book for being partners in that effort.”  Jessica has a vision to infuse reading clubs and literacy advancement throughout the entire NYJTL network.

Written by Sachi Kurup
Marketing Intern

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Suhani Agrawal Paul Klapper School 2017 Valedictorian!


What borough do you live in?

I am from Queens and have lived in Queens my whole life.
How did you learn about NYJTL?
I originally learned about NYJTL from my middle school, PS/MS 219 Paul Klapper School.
How many years have you been with NYJTL?
I have been with NYJTL for 3 years, and have loved every minute of it!
What school did you just graduate from?
I just graduated as the valedictorian from PS/MS 219 Paul Klapper School.
What school will you be attending in the fall?
The high school that I will be attending in the fall will be Stuyvesant High School.
What borough is your high school in?
Stuyvesant High School is on the lower west side of Manhattan.
What grade/year of school will you be entering?
I will be a freshman at Stuyvesant in September, I am really excited!
What is your favorite part about NYJTL?
My favorite part about NYJTL is the tennis.  Soon after I first discovered tennis I realized that it was my favorite sport, and that I have really learned a lot from the game.
What do you like the most about tennis?
My favorite part about tennis is the life lessons that I learn with the game, like perseverance, determination, and self-confidence.
What is your favorite tennis shot?
My favorite tennis shot the two-handed backhand.
When was the most memorable match in tennis to you?
The most memorable match in tennis for me was the Australian Open Final in 2010 between Serena Williams and Justine Henin.
What do you attribute your success to?
I attribute my success to my teachers, my coach, my family members, my friends, and anyone else who has ever supported me in my life.
Do you have any mentors in NYJTL, if so who?
Yes I do have a mentor in NYJTL, my amazing coach, Oscar Gonzalez.
Was there a take away from the program that helped you academically?
The program has assisted me in building up my confidence and determination, which has helped me academically.  Without being determined and confident in who I am, I would have never been able to succeed, and will never be able to succeed in life.
What will you miss most about NYJTL?
I think that I will miss the NYJTL family the most, all the wonderful teachers and students that I have met throughout the years.
What do you want to major in when you go to college?
I would like to major in both Math and Science, they have been my favorite subjects for as long as I can remember.
What career would you like to pursue when you grow up, and why?
Since I enjoy Math and Science so much I think that a career in Computer Science would be a perfect fit for me.