The Active Children Excel (ACE) Project

Did you know...

Underserved communities often lack access to affordable and/or effective after-school programs for children, creating an achievement gap that sustains the cycle of poverty? This is where our story begins! The ACE Project was established to provide kids with an opportunity to do what they do best: be kids! We started by launching a tennis camp for students attending Washington Elementary School in Riverdale, IL. The kids' enthusiasm was reason enough to expand our program model to include homework assistance, nutritional support, academic enrichment, and social-emotional skill building. Now, we offer tennis-focused after-school programs for students at Lincoln Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary School in Dolton, IL and Calvin Rodwell, Matthew Henson, and Pitts-Ashburton Elementary School in Baltimore, MD. Our goal is to offer our full program model at all these schools.

The ACE Project also recognizes the role that families and communities play in helping youth practice and master social and emotional competencies. We offer supportive resources for parents and family members to engage youth both on and off the tennis court. Also, we recruit and train coaches/mentors among a wide range of school personnel, including office staff, lunch monitors, and crossing guards as well as parents and other adults who live in the community. Overall, we believe that by strengthening the relationships between students, their families, and their communities, we will outmatch the current cycles that limit opportunity and success. Your donation will make more smiles possible. Each dollar benefits a child by helping them gain access to after-school programs that positively impact their lives. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us for more information! Let's serve up more ACEs!



To nurture children living in underserved communities by building character, confidence, and competency through the sport of tennis.


To launch community-led collaborations that advance social and economic justice.


  • Tennis has the ability to empower children, families, and communities.

  • All children should have access to equitable resources and opportunities.

  • Families are the backbone of individual success.

  • Community members inspire solutions.

  • The contextualization of evidence-based models will achieve short- and long-term outcomes.

  • By creating opportunities for program replication in under-resourced communities nationwide, we progress social justice.