South Orange Youth Selected to Attend USTA National Junior Tennis Camp
Marissa Bowles, 13, of South Orange, has been selected to attend the 28th annual USTA/NJTL Tennis Leadership Camp in Minneapolis, July 16-20. Only 36 student athletes from around the nation have been selected to attend this year's all-expenses paid week-long camp.
According to a press release from the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Bowles was nominated by Jonathan Williams from Reach for College based on her leadership qualities, academics, tennis skills and extracurricular activities.
The youngest of eight children and a rising eighth grader at South Orange Middle School, Bowles has been involved in tennis for eight years. While she has been active with USTA tennis programs and camps in previous years, this is the first year Bowles has been involved with a NJTL program. She is inspired by NJTL founder and tennis great Arthur Ashe.
“My favorite quote from Mr. Ashe is ‘Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can,’” said Bowles.
Off the court, Bowles was selected as a student ambassador for the “People to People Ambassador Program,” traveling to Canada and Australia to help through community service. She has also been a part of the stage crew for two school plays, swims, plays the trumpet, plays basketball and has donated time to the homeless through Girl Scouts.
The USTA/NJTL Tennis Leadership Camp was created in 1984 to provide an educational and motivational tennis experience for NJTL participants who might not otherwise have access to such an opportunity. The camp is held in a different city each year, and will take place this year on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder, the USTA/National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network is a nation-wide group of more than 600 non-profit youth development organizations that provide free or low cost tennis, education and life skills programming to more than 250,000 children each year. Celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, NJTL is one of the USTA’s largest community-based offerings.