Jane Morrill's priorities are clear: "Two things have always been important to me – tennis and education." As Chair of the Dallas Tennis Association's National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) council, Jane sees that underprivileged children across Dallas have access to tennis training and academic support.
Jane has played tennis all her life, and as a parent she quickly saw the benefits that a strong support system gave to a child's education. While her children were in school she participated in the Highland Park High School PTA, eventually serving as president. But once her children left for college, she found a new home at the Dallas Tennis Association (DTA). Serving on the board since 1995, Jane has held many roles at the DTA, including board president, but her two passions truly combined when she began leading the Dallas Tennis and Education Academy.
The Dallas Tennis and Education Academy is the Dallas Chapter of the NJTL and the charity arm of the Dallas Tennis Association. Providing children with tutoring, tennis instruction, life skills training, and tennis equipment, this program is helping under served populations of children develop an active lifestyle and valuable life lessons. One hundred percent of the students who participate in a DTEA program through high school graduate and go to college, with many being the first in their family to graduate from high school.
"Tennis is a great activity for all ages to get kids moving. They love it and most of them have great success!" shared Jane. But free tennis lessons are just the beginning of Jane's plan. Partnering with Dallas ISD, the DTEA after-school and summer programs help kids develop the grit and discipline needed to thrive on the court and in the classroom. Jane quickly admitted that strategy is no accident: "Tennis is our hook. Education is our goal."
Even after all these years, Jane isn't slowing down. She has her eyes set on the next big goal for the DTEA - building a large indoor tennis facility in South Dallas. "Right now we have programs all over the city - at Kiest Tennis Center, Wesley Rankin Community Center, and Anita Martinez Recreation Center. They even play inside school gyms and at playgrounds, but in the next 10 years, we hope to have a brand new facility," said Jane. Her dedication to putting other people first is to be admired, and she's still serving on the court too.
If you'd like to learn more about the Dallas Tennis Education Academy, visit their website dallasnjtl.org.
If you know someone who is Doing Good in Dallas, we'd love to hear about it! Share their story with us.