United Way’s program exposes kids to sport and character-building

About 150 kids signed up to learn the game of Tennis. It’s part of United Way’s After 6 Program

success after 6 youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Learning doesn’t stop because school is out. Some students in Youngstown are busy this summer learning new skills that help them inside and outside the classroom.

About 150 kids signed up to learn the game of Tennis. It’s part of United Way’s After 6 Program. Students from Youngstown’s Community School just wrapped up five weeks of learning how to play the game.

Aiden Brown is getting confident in his tennis game. At first, he said it was hard learning how to hit the ball. He’s come a long way.

“I was believing in myself that I could do it,” Aiden said.

Volunteer Amy Hendricks is helping to teach the kids the game, knowing it’s not just about athletic skill – the game also builds character. She said the progress the kids are making is exciting.

“Some of the life values tennis teaches are teamwork and perseverance, hard work, patience, and integrity. We’ve carried that from the tennis court into real life.”

The United Way’s After 6 Program is not just an after school program. It’s a program to bring resources and education to families, focusing on the whole child.

“It’s to build the quality of life for our students and their families,” said Brenda Scott, with United Way of the Mahoning Valley.

Youngstown State University, the Jewish Community Center, and the United States Tennis Association are all partners in the program.

“This is a sport that takes a special person. You have to have a special talent to teach it. We are so very grateful and thankful for all the volunteers,” Brenda said.

For Aiden, the tennis program has sparked a passion to keep up with the game. He said he wants to keep learning tennis.

The volunteers teaching tennis to the students said they like to see the course turn into a year-long program.