Acts of service are an integral part of a Stanner education. As members of the National Honor Society (NHS), Jose Pouso ‘24 and Timotej Stofa ‘24 are required to complete 30 service hours before the school year ends. Instead of participating in a program that already exists, they decided to create their own non-profit youth tennis program called Cracked Courts!
Cracked Courts invites children from Queens, NY to the public tennis courts at I.S. 010 Horace Greeley, where Jose and Tim lead introductory tennis lessons. “We’ve both been playing tennis since we were four,” says Jose, “and we know lessons are really expensive.” Tim adds, “We have the tennis knowledge, and we wanted to do something impactful.” The two created an Instagram account and put fliers up around the neighborhood of the school to garner interest for the program.
Officially beginning in late September 2023, Cracked Courts has hosted two lessons, teaching 12 participants. The lessons last three hours, and they include a warm up workout, hitting back and forth with Jose, and hitting targets on a handball court with Tim. “We provide kids with everything they need,” shares Jose, with Tim adding, “No prior experience is required. If a kid has an interest in tennis, we encourage them to stop by and we’ll provide the tennis balls and rackets.” Volunteers helped Jose and Tim with one of the lessons, and they hope that as the program grows, so will their number of volunteers. Although two or three more outdoor sessions are currently being scheduled, the goal is to find a donor or raise money to host the program in an indoor court.
Both students hope to continue Cracked Courts well after their 30 service hours are up, even going so far as to make a plan for college. Tim says, “Hopefully we can bring this to our respective schools, and re-create Cracked Courts in college. I’d even like to do something like the Second Serve organization, which donates tennis equipment to kids around the world that can’t afford their own.” Keep up the great work, Jose and Tim!