By Andrew Labovitz
On Friday, August 6, celebrities and dignitaries from across the country convened in Atlanta for the inaugural World Leadership Awards, which honored organizations and individuals who recognize and value youth leadership.
The World Leadership Awards were presented by the New Look Foundation and its Founding Chairman, recording star Usher Raymond IV. The night featured remarks by Usher and President Bill Clinton, who was among the honorees.
Also among the honorees was the USTA, which was bestowed with the Youth Catalyst Award, given to a corporation or organization that is committed to breaking down or alleviating barriers to youth leadership in communities.
On hand to accept the award were Jeanne Ashe and USTA Serves President Mary Carillo.
Since 2001, USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA has awarded $7.5 million to fund NJTL programs around the country to enhance the lives of at-risk children through the integration of tennis and education.
The Youth Catalyst Award was presented to the USTA for the organization’s demonstrated commitment to youth and leadership through the establishment and growth of National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL).
After 40 years, NJTL has grown to reach over 250,000 youth a year across the United States.
Seeing tennis as more than just a physical activity for youth, the USTA is helping youth build a foundation of leadership through personal development, mentorship, service and educational opportunities.
This innovative approach to supporting young athletes has broken down barriers for these youth to use their talents and pursue new paths toward personal development and community improvement.