Citi Open Tennis Tournament - Helping At-Risk Youth Both On and Off the Court
By John Breaux, Former United States Senator and Vice President of Facilities, Washington Tennis and Education Foundation August 01, 2012 09:00 AM
Washingtonians have long marked the peak of summer with an annual tennis tournament, drawing high profile players to compete under the sweltering DC sun. We are again in the midst of the Citi Open, which began July 28 and will run through August 4, at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park. With Citi taking over as the tournament's title sponsor, we have seen the event grow both on and off the court this year.
Proceeds from the Citi Open benefit the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), a non-profit organization designed to provide academic enrichment, supplemented by tennis and life skills, to at-risk Washington, DC youth.
WTEF has been helping disadvantaged kids in the area for over half a century, and I am proud to serve on the board of this organization that works to develop minds in the classroom and skills on the court. We have three primary goals: keep children off the city streets and engaged in productive activities that instill self-pride and discipline; provide opportunities for children to improve their academic performance and help them make choices that enrich - rather than endanger - their lives; and provide opportunities for underprivileged children to go to college and to obtain academic and athletic scholarships. For those not college bound, WTEF helps them to join the work force and make constructive life choices.
Over the years, the efforts of WTEF have translated into real results. For 14 consecutive years, I'm proud to say that 100 percent of seniors graduating from WTEF's college preparatory program, Center for Excellence, have gained admission to college on an academic or athletic scholarship or with a financial aid package.
To continue to serve our growing community of children, WTEF has begun construction on a new facility in Washington, DC that will allow us to service twice as many students and their families through expanded year-round programs, new weekend activities, and extended after-school hours. Proceeds from the Citi Open will directly help build this much-needed facility that will directly benefit so many Washington families in need.
Tennis has long been a favorite pastime for me, and I will be in the stands at the Citi Open watching world-class tennis action unfold on the courts. But perhaps more important to me, is the support and proceeds from the Citi Open that will promote WTEF's important programs and local community. WTEF and Citi have a shared vision of supporting our youth, and our continued partnership will only grow these efforts.
To learn more about WTEF, please visit: https://www.wtef.org.