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Second Serve, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is managed entirely by student leaders worldwide. There are, however, a few adults involved in the organization as members of the advisory board. The Second Serve advisory board is made up of adult professionals who advise the student leaders on issues related to the management and daily operations of the organization. Board members give advice on operations and the growth of the organization. These board members have backgrounds in tennis and volunteer work, are integral to the organization, and believe strongly in Second Serve’s mission to bring tennis to underserved communities around the world.


Many Second Serve advisory board members are avid tennis players. For example, Gary Pierre, who has been a member since April 2021, has played tennis since he was a 12-year-old in Haiti. As a Junior, Gary was ranked #3 in Haiti and played ITF tournaments on an international level. He was able to use tennis to secure a full-ride scholarship to college. Other board members didn’t pick up tennis until later in life. One such member is Jameel Adeniji, who has been a part of the organization since May of 2021, and first played the sport in graduate school. 


Like many of the advisory board members, both Gary and Jameel have volunteered for many good causes over the years. Jameel, for example, has volunteered with Youth Represent, an organization that helps kids who’ve had trouble with the law get back on their feet. He also volunteered for an organization called Street Squash, where he got to play squash with students in New York City, and tutor them in academic subjects as well. Gary, too, has an extensive volunteer resume, having volunteered at the United Nations Foundation and speaking with US congress members about international affairs related to healthcare and development, as well as the World Literacy Foundation where he led a team of 15 people to advocate for educational resources to be available to under-resourced youths during the pandemic.


Second Serve’s board members help the organization in a variety of ways. Gary helps with everything from equipment collections, supply chain issues, partnerships, and–as he says–“anything that involves growing the organization.” All of the other board members share this desire to help in any way they can. Jameel, for example, helps both Ayanna and Amani, the founders of Second Serve, prioritize the organization’s goals, and says he thinks it’s important for the Second Serve leadership to plan “for both the short term and the long term.” All advisory board members meet quarterly to assess the organization’s progress, its impact, and what the next steps for the organization are. 


Currently, there are eight adults serving on the Second Serve advisory board: Premal Shah, Shandi Johnson, Gary Pierre, Ami Raman, Stacey Lankford Pennington, Dimple Shah, Jameel Adeniji, and Tania Fabiani.


Second Serve’s advisory board members are united in their goal of supporting our student leaders so that they are able to grow the impact of the organization worldwide. As Jameel and Gary have each said, it's the passion of the student team members, their desire to bring this sport we all love to kids around the world, that will move the organization forward. The members of the advisory board play an important role as mentors, helping young leaders fulfill our mission of bringing the wonderful sport of tennis to underserved youth throughout the world.

By Diego Núñez

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