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Austin Tennis Academy Reaches Out to Ethiopia

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TWC News: Austin Tennis Academy Reaches Out to Ethiopia
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Contrasting cultures will come together this June in Ethiopia.
Four out of five people in Ethiopia live each day on less than what it cost to buy a cheap tennis ball.

Members of the Austin Tennis Academy realized it was there turn to serve. No not a ball, but their ace in the hole, the art of giving.

"It's a different mentality going into the tournament not only thinking about playing for yourself but playing to raise money as well," 14-year-old Josh Hagar said.

Four teenagers will see first hand what hard work and a little
racket can do.

"Especially at such a young age I think it's great that we are doing this so we can inspire other people to do it," Eliot Blatt said.

Four teenagers will see first hand what hard work and a little
racket can do.

"Every time that we would go out and play tournament games and matches we would get pledges kind of like a walk-a-thon," 16-year-old Ryan Burak said. "We would use that to go towards Ethiopia."

"Sending the video out really sold itself. People are really
generous," 14-year-old Greyson Brilliant said.

The kids raised $100,000 with corporate dollars adding in $50,000 for new schools, water wells and other projects in Ethiopia through A Glimmer of Hope, a nonprofit organization that has reached out from Austin to the one of the most poverty ridden countries in the world.

"There is no kind of poverty that I have witnessed here or if
you like in the Western World that can compare on any level," says Founder of A Glimmer of Hope Donna Berber. "There is a certain smell, a certain touch, a depth and a breath. It's indescribable. Children that learn how to give become adults that know how to give."

The Austin Tennis Academy is celebrating their five year anniversary and their CEO Jack Newman has been involved with tennis for about 25 years as a coach. He said it's not what the kids do on the court, but in the game of life.

"One of our missions at the Austin Tennis Academy is to produce citizens of significance not just accomplishments," Jack says. "So exposing them to different things is big part of our program."

A winning program passing the torch across the world. Jeff Power News 8 Sports.

Coming up in the final part of the two part series we'll discuss how these kids are inspiring others by making the trip to Ethiopia as part of their summer vacation later this year.

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