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
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!
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.


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.

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.

Beacon High School Claims Mayor’s Cup Varsity Team Division

Beacon High School in Manhattan continued its unprecedented win streak taking home the varsity boys’ title for the sixth time in eight years at the Mayor’s Cup All-Scholastic Tennis Championships, the largest annual free interscholastic tennis tournament in the nation. Beacon defeated longtime rival Horace Mann in the final.
With 600 entries, comprised of 14 team and individual events. representing public, private, and parochial schools from the five boroughs of New York City, the Mayor’s Cup is open to students in elementary, middle, and high school and is the only opportunity for many schools to compete against each other.
In the Elementary School Team division, PS 289 defeated PS 187, and in the Middle School Team division, Hunter defeated MS 167.
In addition to on court performance, the Mayor’s Cup recognizes outstanding sportsmanship and academic excellence with awards and scholarships:
Tawhid Choudhury – The Ogburn School
Calvin Chung – Horace Mann School
Gabriel Sifuentes – St. Francis Preparatory School
Kyra Bergman – The Beacon School
Tyler Kats – The Beacon School
Isabella Hartman – Grace Church School
Imani Jean – Philippa Schuyler Middle School
Anthony Abbott – United Nations International School
Claire An – Brearley School
William Das – Hunter College High School
Natalie Eordekian – St Sebastian’s School
Coney Bank
a.      13 years with NYJTL, attending Queens College in the Fall majoring in East Asian Studies
Jeremy Breland
b.      10 years with NYJTL (2 years coaching) attending Queens College in the Fall majoring in Sports & Fitness
Christian Cirillo
c.       4 years with NYJTL, attending St. John’s University in the Fall majoring in Accounting
Mariana Santamaria
d.      13 years with NYJTL (1 year coaching) attending St. John’s University in the Fall majoring in Biology
Winners in the individual competitions included:
Neel Krishnaswamy – The Gateway School
Timotey Stofa – PS 166 Q Henry Gradstein Elementary School
Caitlin Bui – PS 162 John Golden School
Claire An – Brearley School
Jean Paul Santamaria, Jean Pierre Santamaria – I.S. 119 The Glendale
Ryuichi Nitta – Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Jace Alexander – Dwight School
Sarah Youngberg – Spence School
Natalie Eordekian – St Sebastian’s School
Alexander Chiu, Alex Goldstein – The Bronx High School of Science
Gabriel Sifuentes – St. Francis Preparatory School
Noah Edelman – The Beacon School
Isha Agarwal, Madison Li – Horace Mann School
Christina Huynh – The Bronx High School of Science
Shawnte Beale – Home School
About New York Junior Tennis & Learning
Hosted by New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) for 29 years, this year’s final awards celebration was held on the newly opened Victor Kiam Stadium at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, the flagship home of NYJTL, which is the largest youth tennis and education nonprofit in the United States, serving over 75,000 youth annually in New York City.  The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning is located in the heart of the South Bronx with access to 20 tennis courts and two stadium courts. NYJTL offers year-round tennis programming and provides 6,000 hours of free tennis to the community annually. Learn more at www.nyjtl.org
For additional information, please contact Joe Ceriello, jceriello@nyjtl.org.

NYJTL Hosts 29th Annual Mayor’s Cup

New York (May 15) –With two new stadium courts seating more than 800 at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) will welcome fans and supporters with free admission to the Mayor’s Cup All-Scholastic Tennis Championships from June 1 – 11.

“The Mayor’s Cup is the largest interscholastic tennis tournament in the nation,” said NYJTL co-founder and Cary Leeds Center General Manager Skip Hartman, who created the tournament in 1988.  “It is a unique event because it offers interleague competition for teams and individuals from public, private, and parochial leagues from throughout the New York metropolitan area.”

With nearly 600 entries from elementary, middle school, and high schools, the Mayor’s Cup includes 14 different individual and team events.

“The Mayor’s Cup represents what NYJTL is all about— bringing all the children of NYC together to learn valuable life skills on the court and seeing kids grow with the game of tennis from elementary school through their senior year in high school,” said NYJTL President and CEO, George Guimaraes.

The Mayor’s Cup finals will be played on June 11 on the Victor Kiam and Pershing Square Stadium Courts, which were dedicated on April 9 in an opening ceremony attended by former Mayor David Dinkins, who has been a constant supporter of the Mayor’s Cup.

“This year we will have a special celebration with entertainment to commemorate the official opening of the new stadiums,” said Mayor’s Cup tournament director Pam Glick.

Student athletes who are interested in participating in this year’s event may apply at http://www.nyjtl.org/events/2017mayors-cup/.

Schedule of play for the week will be posted at nyjtl.org/events/mayors-cup.

About New York Junior Tennis & Learning

NYJTL was founded in 1971 (then, as New York Junior Tennis League) by Arthur Ashe and Chairman Emeritus Lewis “Skip” Hartman. NYJTL’s mission is to develop the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court. Through tennis, academic enrichment, healthy living, and character development programs, NYJTL teaches life skills to 75,000 underserved youth throughout all of New York City. The experience and culture of tennis, along with academic support services, have helped hundreds of thousands of young people improve their performance in school and raise their aspirations, inspiring success both on and off the court. Learn more at www.nyjtl.org

Contact: Joe Ceriello – jceriello@nyjtl.org