According to MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership, “Young adults who had mentors speak highly of these relationships. They offer that their mentors help them stay on track in school, make good choices, and provide consistent support”. At NYJTL’s core we believe in developing the character of young people through tennis and education for a lifetime of success on and off the court. Mentoring is at the forefront of what we do, and we believe that every child in New York City deserves the opportunity to be guided thoughtfully, and we are confident that the life skills gained through our programs can provide a powerful catalyst for long-term achievement. Whether that means helping a child with their homework through our ACES Afterschool Program, or incorporating physical activity through tennis in our Community Tennis Program, or even having a child participate in our Serve & Connect Program so that NYPD 42nd Precinct officers can create life long relationships and mentor kids.
Founded in 1971, NYJTL is active in every borough of New York City, operates in all 51 NYC Council Districts and providing free access to tennis in schools, community centers, and on playgrounds year round reaching 85,000 K-12 youth throughout NYC. Our Community Tennis Program, which has mentored and served thousands of children over the years, creates a safe environment for children to learn the sport of a lifetime that instills teamwork, stamina, grit, and persistence. Our dedicated coaches, many of them NYJTL alumni, are committed to teaching tennis to the youth of NYC, for example Coach Gaetan said, “Mentoring kids is important because growing minds often need guidance. I’m drawn to mentoring kids because my mentor growing up was very influential in making me the person I am today. My mentor was Scott Daly (NYJTL Senior Director, Community Tennis). I work for NYJTL because it’s given me so much as a growing teen that the least I can do is pay it forward to the next generation”. Coach Gaetan has impacted the lives of many children, but especially Allycia Santa-Cruz, a sophomore at Bard Early College High School. Allycia said “To me, Gaetan is not only a mentor, but a friend, a father figure and also just a cool dude I met two years ago. He’s made tennis become more meaningful, which nourished my love of the game. I’m always making time for tennis, whether it’s a school night or six in the morning on weekends. Starting the summer program with him not only helped me become a better tennis player, but become a better person”. NYJTL looks forward to continuing to foster and mentor the youth of New York City through tennis, education, healthy living and character development programs.