Reflections from a MWYF Grad

Benzell, a recent graduate of Paxon School for Advanced Studies, has been part of the T-n-T program since 2004.  In his 10 years at the Foundation he has spent hours on the courts, made many friends and has served as a positive role model for younger students.  Here are his thoughts on his time at the Foundation and his next big adventure:


“In 3rd grade, I watched a presentation that would change my life.  My parents liked that the students in the program receive daily homework assistance, learn to play tennis, attend life skills classes and learn to be a leader;  I thought playing with my friends after school and getting snacks was a great deal!  Tennis wasn’t always a huge part of my life.  My early memories of the Foundation consist of tennis lessons on two crowded courts, always waiting in line for a chance to hit a few balls.   As I got older I leaned to love the game, mainly because my friends liked it more too, and began to focus on my development as a player.  Not only was I improving on the court, but I was also doing well in school and getting some good advice in my leadership classes.  My biggest accomplishment came in high school when I won the Student Athlete of the Year Scholarship (2011).  The opportunities that came about when I won this award expanded my network and I decided to apply for a military academy.  I’ve never really put all of my eggs in one basket, but I did with this and the outcome was unbelievable.  I only applied to two schools: West Point and the Naval Academy.  I was appointed to both and chose to attend the United States Military Academy (West Point).  As I get ready to leave for college (on July 1st) I think back on my time at the Foundation.  I have grown as both a player and student over the years.  I now have many leadership qualities and experience in dealing with difficult situations.  I know I’m ready for the challenges ahead of me and I can’t wait to come back with stories for my friends at the Foundation.  Thank you for your support and thanks to Mal for the wonderful opportunities.”


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