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My family’s idea to take a trip to one of the Bahamas islands called Exuma was a very
spontaneous decision; however, I never knew at the time how my life would change from this


Our Bahama trip was supposed to be just an ordinary fun family vacation but because I am a
passionate tennis player and a member of the Second Serve organization I decided to use this
opportunity for my first Second Serve mission abroad and bring collected tennis equipment to
kids on the island.


I became a member of Second Serve because their mission goal resonated with what I had in
mind. I have been playing tennis for two and a half years now and fell in love with the sport
since I first grabbed a racket. Being a part of Second Serve for me meant that I could instill that
passion and love in others who may otherwise not have the same opportunity in life as I do.
That’s why, when I heard about the trip to Exuma, I didn’t hold back and tried reaching various
schools in Exuma to see if they would need any used tennis equipment. They in fact did. I got in
contact with Mrs. Keniqua Burrows, the director of the Exuma Christian Academy, she was
thrilled for the opportunity to get my 11 gently used rackets for her students.


Once on the island, I had the amazing opportunity to meet some of the local students, one of
them being a member of the Exuma Christian Academy, Isiah. Isiah is a talented tennis player,
his dream is to live in the United States and play college tennis. I decided to meet up with him
one morning to play some tennis on the only public court on the island.


I was shocked. The court was in the middle of a gravel field, surrounded by bushes and trees
intertwining up the side of the fence. The fence itself was badly damaged, rusted, and falling
apart. As I walked onto the court, I saw the long, deep cracks that surrounded the court, and the
ruined carpet that curled, forming a visible dent in the court. Playing on that court was a
nightmare, I was slipping on the sandy surface and couldn’t catch a rhythm while the balls were
flying in all directions due to the cracks in the surface. I was devastated with how the court was,
and the fact that this was the only public court, made me even more upset.


Even though I was struggling to play the tennis match, Isiah’s smile made me realize how much
joy this sport brings to him. Even in the worst conditions, Isiah played with such passion and
enjoyment for the sport. Before I knew it, rain started pouring down onto the court but we didn’t
stop, we passionately rallied the ball back and forth until I was so tired I couldn’t stand on my


While I did enjoy playing, I couldn’t help but realize the horrible, run-down court condition was
the only place where kids were able to experience the joy of tennis. It felt unfair to have such a


One of the things that I love about Second Serve is the growth opportunities. As a team, we
have impacted the lives of over 25,000 kids around the world and 14 different countries like

Nigeria, India, and Mexico. We not only donate gently used tennis equipment but also create
programs for kids, like the Serve Huston program, set by Lauryn Tu.


I want to create such a change for kids on this Bahama island. I feel deeply connected to
Exuma and I love spending my time there. I want to give the local Exuma tennis community a
second chance to chase after tennis with their hearts. To do that, we need to start from the
simple yet difficult task of creating a place where kids can meet and play tennis. This is why my
next goal is to rebuild the run-down public court so the local kids can safely practice tennis. I
feel and hope that this is just the beautiful beginning of my friendship and bonding with the
Exuma community. Once this one court is ready, my Exuma friends and I already have dreams
and plans to make the Exuma tennis strong and accessible to all. I hope to transform kids' lives
one swing at a time.

By Zosia Paciorek

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