JTCC Staff Professional Ginger Valentine will be moving across the country in January, but her dedication and hard work with JTCC’s Neighborhood Outreach Program will positively impact players for years to come.
In July 2021, Valentine joined JTCC as an AmeriCorps VISTA fellow through Tennis for America, a nationwide program that places individuals with collegiate tennis backgrounds at organizations benefiting their communities for one year.
Upon Valentine’s completion of her fellowship, she was hired as a full-time JTCC staff professional and became an integral part of the expansion of Neighborhood Youth Outreach (NYO).
“Ginger has been instrumental in the growth of NYO as we have looked to rebuild the program’s capacity since the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented JTCC Community Outreach Manager Ava Todd, a former Tennis for America fellow herself. “Ginger has taken the lead coaching role at NYO sites by crafting dynamic lesson plans for the children and supporting the NYO coaches.”
In the 18 months since arriving at JTCC, Valentine has experienced and facilitated the growth of the NYO program by working with more than 500 kids across 15 different sites.
“I love coaching in NYO because the classes provide an opportunity for kids to play who likely would not get that chance,” Valentine stated. “We also help them develop in other areas by teaching them a new word of the day, such as patience and honesty. Our program teaches kids tennis, but also other skills that will help them be successful off the court.”
Valentine’s dedication to the growth of NYO is exemplified by her countless hours each day coaching at multiple sites around Maryland and Washington, DC. Through her caring nature and stellar coaching, Valentine has encouraged many players from NYO to continue their training at JTCC by enrolling in Phase 2 and Future Champs classes.
“One of the most rewarding parts of coaching in the NYO program is to see the kids graduate and receive their certificates,” Valentine remarked. “It is awesome when the players who have potential continue to train at JTCC, and we see them improve and mature as players and people.”