WBZ Cares: Tennis Helps Youths Blossom

Teresa Nixon and 12-year-old son Isaiah Biename

BOSTON (CBS) - Each month, "WBZ Cares" highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what that organization does for the community.

This month WBZ Cares profiles the "Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center," an organization aimed at leveraging tennis to open doors of opportunity for youth in some of Boston’s most underserved communities.

"He’s getting to realize who he is as a young man and without mommy and daddy there," said Lekisha Limage.

Lekisha Limage says her 9 year-old son Ayden has become much more independent since joining the Sportsmen's Tennis and Enrichment Center two years ago.

"It means a lot to me to see him taking responsibility and growing up and getting opportunities that maybe he wouldn’t normally get if he wasn’t a part of the program," Limage said.

Ayden is part of the Center's after school program and he loves every minute of it.

"We do our homework, and then we read for 30 minutes, and they we have life free time on the computer," said Ayden Limage who has made a lot of friend at the center.

Like Ayden, 14-year-old May Weng of South Boston didn't know how to play tennis when she joined the club. Weng is now one of their best players. She says learning tennis has helped her come out of her shell.

"I was like really, an introvert but with tennis, it makes me express myself through the playing," said Weng.

Isaiah Bienaime, 12, agrees that the Center focuses a lot about players respecting one another both on and off the court.

"I would say it’s about good sportsmanship," he said.

Isaiah's mom Theresa Nixon says when her autistic son first started at the club seven years ago...

"He wouldn’t talk. He wouldn’t play with anybody. He would go in a corner and do his own thing."

Nixon says the caring staff and coaches at the Center gave her son his voice back.

"He has blossomed. He is independent. He helps me at home. He has taken over the role as big brother and a helper by the grace of God. It’s just amazing that’s why I keep bringing him here. He keeps growing," she said.

And for that Nixon says she is Grateful.

" I’m just grateful. So grateful."

For more information visit sportsmenstennis.org or WBZ Cares during the month of November.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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