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#IServeBecause: Gloria Dorsey's Story

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#IServeBecause: Gloria Dorsey's Story

Gloria Dorsey is the proud and supportive mother of nine-year-old Julius Dorsey, a student at KCTL’s Lafayette Gardens Tennis Club. KCTL parents like Gloria are a vital component of our program's mission to empower Brooklyn families and build community.

Gloria is one of several KCTL parents/guardians who comprise the KCTLPA (Kings County Tennis League Parents Association), a committee that aims to increase student enrollment, achieve student retention, and maintain a parent support system.

We recently spoke with Gloria to feature a parent's perspective in the #IServeBecause series. As you’ll learn below, she and her son are longstanding, committed KCTL participants.

How long has your son, Julius, been a student with Kings County Tennis League?

Julius has been playing with KCTL since 2012, which makes four years including the 2015 season.

How did you and Julius learn about the program?

A teacher at Julius’ former school—PS 270—passed along a flyer to us in the spring of 2012. We were delighted to learn about the opportunity.

Prior to joining, did your son play tennis (or know about tennis)?

No. Julius had never played tennis before, but he knew about the game from watching tennis tournaments with me on television.

Based on what Julius has told you, what does he like most about KCTL?

Above all, Julius enjoys meeting other kids and making new friends. He likes learning a new sport, too. The volunteers are very nice and friendly, and he enjoys their lessons and group discussions.

What do you like most about it?

It’s a free opportunity for my son to learn something new! I love watching him learn how to play the game on Saturday afternoons. Meanwhile, I’m able to relax in the park and meet other parents in the community with similar interests as me. I also like how nice the volunteers have proven to be working with my son and the other children.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?

I think KCTL is helping our kids to develop their skills physically, mentally, and morally. I never had the opportunity as a child to learn how to play tennis, so I'm very happy that KCTL is giving our son the chance to learn how to play this type of sport. My family has experienced many good things as a result of this program.

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A Wonderful Reminder of Our Purpose

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A Wonderful Reminder of Our Purpose

What a great start to the 2015 Kings County Tennis League (KCTL) season this past Saturday. Bringing tennis to the kids, as our motto goes. KCTL now operates programs in five Brooklyn communities in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. I stopped by Marcy Playground for opening day to experience the program first hand. What an uplifting experience it was.

marcy-opener-2015-student

marcy-opener-2015-student

The weather was perfect, turnout was high and the court was full of smiling faces. Some were new and others were returning for another year of the program. And the volunteers were as upbeat and enthusiastic as ever. (We have the best volunteers in the New York, hands down!)

The highlight for me was meeting the mother of a girl who has joined the program this year. We chatted while she watched the activities and cheered her daughter on. Her daughter had shown an interest in learning tennis last year, but the season was already nearing an end. She made sure to get registered early to take part this season.

I learned that her daughter also takes piano lessons and learns ballet. “I want her to be exposed to many different activities. When she gets older she can choose what she prefers, but I want her to have options,” the mother explained. I was more than a little impressed, as I wondered if I was looking at a future tennis pro, breakout musician or ballerina. Or even all three.

The conversation brought me back to the organization’s purpose – to empower youth in Brooklyn to learn tennis as both a healthy activity and also to impart life skills. And as this parent so eloquently explained how she wants her daughter to have options to help her make future life decisions, I was reminded of just how important KCTL is to our local communities. And that in turn inspires me to look for creative new ways to support and expand this important program. If you have ideas, I’d love to hear them. Please let me know at cmcmanus@kingscountytennisleague.org.

Author Chris McManus is a member of the Board of Directors for Kings County Tennis League.

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