Numbers are important, but the personal stories are what matter the most.





An Essay By selena williams, Foundation Youth:

My life was a never-ending agenda, always listing tasks and rushing to check them off in hopes of attaining a moment of contentment. Each time I fell short of completing the task perfectly, I felt like a failure, compounding the hatred and disappointment I felt within myself. The days dragged on for what seemed like years, and became nothing more than an anticipation for sleep, a momentary silencing of my mind. I grew covetous of the peace and confidence that I saw in others. Acquiring quietness became another "task" to complete. Frustrated with my inability to relax, I stared out of the window, envying the freedom of the birds—a freedom denied to me by my imprisoning mind. I scarcely heard the old house creak as my mentor approached me. "Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, clear your mind," he instructed me. For 20 minutes I sat rigidly in unbearable discomfort which arose from the absence of distractions—the forced focus on my deep-seated hatred of my appearance and mediocrity. I fought this arduous battle for a single concession: an ephemeral moment of tranquility. After years of chasing peace through check lists, I had finally discovered the path to profound silence.

The silence is no longer a disturbance, but a blessing. Gradually, I felt the muscles in my shoulders soften as I learned to cope with life's demands. Now I live deliberately. Each action I take is a defining step to a meaningful end rather than a disjointed list of tasks to fulfill. I have stopped habitually comparing myself to others, and have found comfort and confidence in my own abilities. After losing a three hour tennis match I walked off proud, with a sense of accomplishment, instead of punishing myself for not finding a way to win. Last month, I walked into a government test confidently, answering the questions with assuredness, rather than fearing failure as I did last spring. I want to share the value of meditation with those harboring the self-hatred I once possessed. I want to share a path to the blinding light of peace for those who still sit in dark noise.

Edgardo Ureta in the Hartford Tennis shirt with ATP tour pro Andy Murray, and Foundation Alumni Trenton Alenik and Frideric Prandecki

Edgardo Ureta in the Hartford Tennis shirt with ATP tour pro Andy Murray, and Foundation Alumni Trenton Alenik and Frideric Prandecki

The Story of Edgardo Ureta: Making the Impossible Happen

Please click here for the inspiring article on Edgardo Ureta and his journey to and through our program, as published by his Alma Mater, Hartford University's.

Cherrial Odell’s Heroic Story, featured on Tennis Channel.