For immediate release NEW YORK (January 10, 2022) – New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) is pleased to announce an endowed fund of $1.0 million from Stuart Weitzman, the renowned designer and entrepreneur. This gift will support the NYJTL Scholar Athlete Program, which will offer high quality, personalized tennis and educational support and instruction to provide a pathway for under-resourced NYC children to attend and graduate from college. After 50 years of providing tennis and academic support for NYC youth, the Scholar Athlete Program will serve as a beacon for the entire organization.
Mr. Weitzman’s visionary support of NYJTL’s role in nurturing the development of the city’s young people through tennis and education will assure the expansion of its program and greater access to more under-resourced children.
“It is my pleasure to work with NYJTL to better the lives of NYC youth through its enduring work,” said Mr. Weitzman. “In giving back, I hope to connect my legacy to the transformative Scholar Athlete Program, which will launch many children into college and beyond.”
Stuart Weitzman is a luxury shoe designer and corporate leader who launched his namesake brand in 1986. He spent several years as an apprentice under his father, Seymour Weitzman, at the Mr. Seymour shoe factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Since his early beginnings in the industry, Mr. Weitzman has revolutionized shoe design internationally by combining style and comfort in all his designs.
In 2018, Mr. Weitzman retired after nearly five decades of successfully leading one of the most recognizable brands in the footwear industry. The legacy of the company persists through its principles of entrepreneurial spirit, interconnectedness, and originality. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Since his retirement, he has devoted much of his time to lecturing at Penn and other universities passing along his knowledge and experiences from his career. In recognition of his support to the University of Pennsylvania, their School of Design was renamed the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.
“We are elated to receive the generosity of Stuart Weitzman,” said NYJTL Board Chair Bob Horne. “This gift provides monumental aid in providing NYC children the opportunity and support they need to prepare for college and to reach their highest potential through the Scholar Athlete Program.”
This gift will partially endow NYJTL’s Scholar Athlete Program, which is the materialization of NYJTL’s core belief that tennis and education are a catalyst for long-term achievement and opportunity for low-income youth and their families.
This program will serve as the flagship NYJTL program that highlights the substantial benefits of providing in-depth services to underserved youth. Through the example of the Scholar Athlete Program, NYJTL hopes to inspire thousands of NYC youth in all of its programs to pursue their long-term goals, including going to college for those who aspire to do so.
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 more than 85,000 K-12 New York City youth.
NYJTL provides after school programming in approximately 30 schools and community tennis programming at approximately 40 sites throughout New York City in the summer months and at additional sites that operate during the school year. In addition, NYJTL designed, funded (with NYC), built and operates the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, at which it provides free and commercial tennis programming year-round as well as life skills, character development and healthy living lessons. All NYJTL community tennis and after school programs are offered at no cost to its participants.
NYJTL is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022 (delayed due to COVID)!
Contact: Joe Ceriello
Chief Marketing & Development Officer