The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) was established in 1955 by a group of local businessmen and political appointees as the Washington Tennis Patrons Foundation. Its purpose was to provide opportunities through tennis scholarships for youth to play tennis both locally and at the national level. The organization evolved, growing in size and scope; leadership saw the opportunity to use tennis as a way to keep low-income youngsters “on the tennis courts and out of the juvenile courts.” During the 1990’s, its mission was updated to focus on children most at risk of academic failure by combining academic support with tennis; in 1994 it was renamed the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation to reflect this expanded focus. Over the years, WTEF has developed a range of programs designed for children from toddlers to high school seniors. The unique mix of academics and athletics has served as an example for similar organizations across the country, as well as other DC-area afterschool programs. Central to WTEF’s longevity and success is its willingness to remain flexible, growing and adapting to meet the needs of the children served and the communities they call home. WTEF’s objective is to improve the life prospects of low-income children in DC at risk of academic failure through high quality academic, tennis, and wellness instruction. WTEF provides a safe haven, engaging children in productive activities that help improve school performance, build confidence and self-esteem, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, the goal is to empower students to reach their highest potential by helping them develop the meaningful values and critical life skills that will lead them to make constructive life choices. WTEF builds life champions.


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