S.C. Jr. Tennis Foundation helps local youth achieve collegiate tennis ambitions
After spending the better part of eight years traveling the world as a tour coach, Jeff Wilson landed at Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island and realized his dream of launching a charitable tennis foundation.
“I’ve seen so many charitable tennis events, foundations and activities around the world,” said Wilson. “I feel like with my job at Family Circle, I have an opportunity to help others right here in South Carolina. Through tennis, academics and hard work, a lot of kids can have a great college experience. Helping get kids to college - that’s the mission, that’s what needs to happen.”
The South Carolina Junior Tennis Foundation (SCJTF) was established in January of 2017. A non-profit organization, the SCJTF is run by Wilson with the assistance of Meg Farrelly and Rob Eppelsheimer. Composed of a local and statewide initiative, the foundation serves as a resource for advancing players (and their families), who have the talent and desire to excel but may not have the means to pursue their dreams of going to college.
Locally in the Lowcountry, the SCJTF identifies players who show an unbridled passion for competition on the court and excellence in the classroom. These young players wish to compete as collegiate student-athletes, but for various reasons are unable to take the necessary pathway. They have the skills, grades and character to excel but need help financing the journey.
The statewide initiative has created teams of local ambassadors throughout South Carolina. These teams, selected by coaches in their areas, are comprised of high school tennis players who take a fundraising idea all the way to completion. The students are solely responsible for the project, and the funds raised are kept in their local communities. Through this program, high school tennis players gain valuable service hours, business relationships and references for their college applications, while supporting the community in which they live.
In 2017, 17 high school tennis players took part in the ambassador initiative. These players, including a young man who recently signed to play collegiate tennis, will be recognized at an inaugural gala on April 2, 2018. The gala, hosted by the Volvo Car Open, will held at the Daniel Island Club.
“To be in position to partner with the Volvo Car Open and participate in such an incredible night at the first annual SCJTF Gala is just remarkable,” said Wilson. “The opportunity to tell our story to such a supportive and interested audience really raises the bar for our efforts to change young people’s lives across the great state of South Carolina. I am simply honored and humbled to see this dream come true!”
If you would like to get involved with the SCJTF, or if you know of a student or family who could benefit, visit the foundation website at scjtf.org or contact Jeff Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 849-5306.