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Six young Floridians selected for 2006 USTA scholarships

May 9, 2006 01:47 PM

“To have six Florida students receive these national USTA scholarships is wonderful,” USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Community Tennis Andy McFarland said.  “We hope they continue to play tennis throughout college and the rest of their lives, considering the positive impact tennis has made on their lives thus far.”

$2,500 Eve Kraft Award: Anoop Sheth of Winter Haven

[The Eve Kraft scholarship award is named in memory of Eve Kraft of Princeton, NJ, a tennis pioneer who introduced thousands of young people to the game of tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.  Kraft became the first-ever women’s varsity tennis coach at Princeton in 1971 and led the team to an undefeated record during her three-year tenure.  She later founded and was director of the USTA Center for Education and Recreational Tennis in Princeton.  The scholarship is partially supported by Robert Kraft and family.]


Anoop Sheth, who graduates this year with a 4.76 cumulative G.P.A., plans to attend the University of Chicago to complete a four-year pre-med program.

Anoop played varsity tennis and golf at International Baccalaureate School in Bartow, FL.  He received honors as the HOSA Dental Terminology national and state champion; and he received awards as the Governor’s All-Star Student and AP National Scholar.

As campus chapter founder and president of Habitat for Humanity, Anoop was also a member of the National Honor Society and the academic team; and he volunteered at a hospital and tutored mentally handicapped children.

(no photo provided)


$5,000 Mass Mutual Award: Elise Greer of Bartow; Jocelyn Lucier of Indialantic

[MassMutual Financial Group is a Fortune 100 diversified financial services organization.  Headquartered in Springfield, Mass., the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has exhibited corporate social responsibility since its founding more than 150 years ago.  MassMutual believes that by supporting education, the company can have a positive impact on our nation’s youth. ]


Elise Greer.jpg
Elise Greer
graduates this month from Bartow International Baccalaureate and plans to attend the University of Florida for pre-Veterinary studies.

Elise considers herself an ambitious young lady. 

“I have a very clear sight of my goals,” she said.  “I don’t back down until I have reached them.”

Elise juggled a number of activities during high school.  She was a cheerleader, she played soccer and tennis, and she ran track.  She was a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish club, the Anchor club, FBLA, and she participated in Youth Leadership Bartow.  She was recognized in Who’s who in American high school students, and she received various awards for athletics and academics.

Elise is thankful for the game of tennis in her life.  She said, “When I walk off the court I feel like a new and better person.”


Jocelyn Lucier.jpg

Jocelyn Lucier plans to attend either the University of Florida or Furman University in South Carolina after she graduates this month from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne.

Jocelyn remembers when she was three years old, watching Wimbledon.  “I wanted my own racket so badly,” she said.  And she recognizes that tennis really is a lifetime sport!  “I hope to continue to work as a volunteer until I am not able to hold a racket anymore.”



$6,000 College Educational Scholarship: Heather Dodds of Jacksonville; Charles Johnson of Naples; Christine Johnstone of Naples

[The recipients of the USTA Tennis & Education Foundation College Education Scholarship are eligible to receive $1,500 per year for a total of up to $6,000 to cover costs of tuition, room and board and educational materials.  The scholarship will be paid directly to the college or university in which the student is enrolled and is renewable annually based on the recipient’s standing with his/her college.]


Heather Dodds.jpg

Heather Dodds graduates from Robert E. Lee Sr. High School this year, and plans to attend the University of North Florida in Jacksonville to study Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine.

As a member of the National Honor Society, Heather also received perfect attendance (kindergarten through 12 grades … wow !) and she was recognized in Who’s who in American high school students.

Heather was on the swimming and diving team and the bowling team; she played soccer and tennis and she was the varsity football manager.

“One of the most valuable traits I have acquired from being a tennis player is discipline,” Heather said.  “… Without discipline, I don’t believe I would have succeeded as well as I have both academically and athletically.”


Charles Johnson.jpg

Charles Johnson, soon to be Barron G. Collier High School graduate, (number 43 out of his 501 graduating class,) plans to study accounting at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

Charles played four years of boys’ varsity tennis.  He is ranked #87 in the state for boys’ 16s.  He was selected to the All-State tennis team, and he received Most Improved Player in 2005.  Charles won more than one state championship in 2005, and the “Drop Shot Junior Classic for boys’ 16s in 2004; and Charles received the Coach’s Award in 2003 and 2004.

Charles and his family were very active in an effort to raise money for the Sri Lanka tsunami victims.  His mother, a native of Sri Lanka, and his three siblings bought wristbands with “Tsunami Survivors” written on them, and sold them to raise money for a village of East Coast victims.

“The people of the village are extremely appreciative,” he said.  “And it feels incredible to be part of a rebuilding process halfway across the globe.”


Christine Johnstone.jpg

Christine Johnstone is also a soon to be Barron Collier High School graduate, and she plans to pursue a Biotechnology degree from the Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers.

Christine has received numerous honors and awards throughout high school.  She was the vice president of the Spanish Honor Society, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Green Group, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Envirothon.

Christine ran on the varsity Cross Country team, she played J.V. basketball for two years and varsity tennis for four years.  She was captain of the tennis team.

Christine is one of seven children.  “Growing up in such a big family is truly my greatest blessing,” she said.

Christine's favorite volunteer work is teaching tennis to kids at the Southampton Tennis Club in Ontario for four summers.

In 2005, the Barron H.S. girls tennis team won state.

“I am so grateful to have been a part of this [tennis] program,” Christine said.  “It has brought me more happiness than I can even begin to describe.”



The USTA Tennis & Education Foundation (USTA T&EF) is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life among our nation’s youth.  A goal of the USTA T&EF is to encourage children to pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens.  The USTA T&EF supports organizations that use tennis as a vehicle to help youngsters finish high school and qualify for college scholarships.  The USTA T&EF targets youngsters from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  Applicants must demonstrate financial need for college matriculation.






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