TOP's students are divided into two age categories: The Future Stars whose ages ranges from 4 to 10 years old; and the Ranked Stars who are 11 to 18 years old. To maintain participation, all scholarship recipients must maintain a "B" average, and the older Ranked Stars are encouraged to obtain a ranking in the top 30 of the Chicago District Tennis Association (CDTA).
The population receiving TOP's services is diverse in race and gender. Currently, participating children include fifteen African-Americans, nine Caucasians, four Hispanics and two Asian/Pacific Islanders. Fourteen are girls and sixteen are boys. Applicants are required to validate economic status with submission of parents' tax forms prior to acceptance.
TOP pays for all private lessons, group lessons, and some equipment. TOP also provides $1,000 toward travel, food, and lodging expenses associated with participation in USTA national championships for our Ranked Stars. Currently, TOP spends approximately $3,500 - $5,000 per participant, annually.
TOP does not have a paid staff. Administrative work is done on a volunteer basis by members of our Board of Directors. Local professional tennis instructors are paid to work with our children and periodically to accompany them to tournaments. TOP maintains a business relationship with tutoring professionals and Sylvan Learning Systems for the benefit of our participants who need academic support.
TOP's current corporate sponsors are Midtown Tennis Club of Chicago and Wilson Sporting Goods, Inc. If you would like to find out more information about corporate sponsorship of TOP activities click here.
TOP also has a number of private donors, several of whom have funded a Name Scholarship for an individual child. The Named Scholarship sponsors a child's lessons and equipment, and helps with travel expenses to national tournaments. If you would like to find out more information about individual sponsorship of TOP activities click here.
TOP's primary fundraising event is our Pro-Am Tournament and Silent Auction in October of each year.