Mission: Mentor TennisSee aspires to advance the well-being of high risk youth through an integrated program of tennis instruction, academic tutoring, life skills development, and college access.
Program Description: Mentor TennisSee provides tennis instruction, tutoring, life skills development, and college access programs to inner-city youth. The program operates three times weekly on the Vanderbilt University campus, but is a separate 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. College mentors serve as the core volunteer base, supporting paid professional staff. Volunteers assist with both tutoring and tennis instruction (based on the Grips Program instructional curriculum).
The program's life skills component was developed by the Stanford Research Institute, and was based on the First Tee Life Skills program. The life skills component was provided to Mentor TennisSee by the United States Tennis Association, after meeting exclusive quality control metrics. In addition, Mentor TennisSee participants compete for college scholarships beginning in the 5th grade against participants from the other top inner-city tennis and education programs.
Mentor TennisSee serves 30 children annually. Though this number is small, it reflects a conscious choice made by program leadership to provide the deepest service to those families who are most committed to advancing their child's circumstances. The program has the capacity to work with hundreds, even thousands, of kids per year, but is focused on a more dedicated rollout through individual site development. The best inner-city tennis programs typically limit participation to 100 students, a figure which Mentor TennisSee hopes to achieve in the near future.