By Emmy Powell, Net News Editor
Tennis teaches so many life lessons, and through the generous endowment by a former ALTA president and chairman of the board, student-athletes throughout Atlanta benefit to advance their education by earning this special scholarship. This program designates $20,000 each year to the winners who share a similar skill set of intelligence, volunteerism, and the love of tennis. We introduced you to five of the winners in our September issue. Now meet the other five 2019 ALTA Foundation Scholarship winners.
Where do young people learn good sportsmanship, communication skills, and teamwork? Jack Busch (pictured above) says his answer is “playing ALTA.”
It all started with a bike ride down to the neighborhood courts. Hitting with family and friends eventually led to group lessons and then ALTA Junior League play. Busch continued to be dedicated to the sport, improving his game, and even winning several ALTA City Championships. When he entered Alpharetta High School, he was determined to make the tennis team. His hard work earned him not only a spot on the team, but the captain’s job on his varsity team. Busch has used his love of tennis to help special needs children learn and play the game through the Special Pops Tennis league. He also was able to captain a Special Pops team, which allowed him the opportunity to assign athletes to teams, communicate with parents, and craft a lineup with the other captains.
“The game of tennis has taught me valuable life lessons on and off the court,” Busch said. “Some of these are hard work, good sportsmanship, self-control, standing up for myself, communication, time management, and service to others.”
He knows these traits will be useful as he moves on to college at Georgia Tech. He also plans to continue to play tennis for years to come.
Being in a family of tennis players and moving to Atlanta were key to Samuel Lehmann getting involved in the game of tennis. Realizing that tennis was his favorite sport led him to playing more on the court, meeting friends, and developing his ability to be more comfortable and friendly with people. Lehmann continues to play ALTA and is excited to have joined his father’s ALTA team, playing with him on Saturday mornings.
“For thirteen seasons over eight years, ALTA has been a mainstay for my development skills as a tennis player,” Lehmann said. “It helped me make childhood friends, taught me valuable life lessons, and influenced my life on and off the court; and for that I will always be grateful.”
The Chamblee Charter High School graduate will further his education at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sometimes life throws different shots our way, so we use what we have to swing through them. That is the story of Amelia Livezey who started playing tennis as a young girl. She was comfortable playing with her parents, friends, and coaches, and she loved the game and the constant challenge it offered. Life threw Livezey a tough curveball when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She remembers as she went through years of treatment, including chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and more needles than she felt she could endure, that if she could get back on the court, she would feel normal again. Luckily for her, that’s exactly what happened.
She began going to practice as often as she could and picked up right where she left off, seeing the same friends and coaches and just being out on the court. During her treatment, Livezey never was sure of what she might face regarding her future, but she knew tennis always would be there. As her health improved, tennis became a constant. Livezey played junior varsity and varsity tennis at Norcross High School and earned a co-captain position on the team.
“Over time, I have gained an appreciation for the constants in my life. As we grow up, all of us encounter change and uncertainty at every corner. One of the constants I can rely on, has been the game of tennis,” Livezey said.
She is healthy and happy and plans to continue to enjoy tennis and her college years at the University of Georgia.
Paul T. Roberts II
Through his ALTA team experiences, both with the Junior Leagues and the Junior Challenge Ladder, Paul Roberts II learned discipline, patience, and a strong work ethic. The Lakeside High School graduate says he enjoyed playing other sports, but tennis has been a family sport and he loved being able to play with his dad.
“The confidence I have gained from playing tennis has helped me become the person I am today,” said Roberts. He also has been able to share the love of tennis with his classmates and his friends. Roberts can sum up his entire experience by saying, “Simply put, I just love the game of tennis!”
Roberts is looking forward to an exciting future, as he continues his education at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
“Without ALTA, I would not have met some of my best friends. My teammates and coach became my tennis family,” says Sydney Siegel. She began playing on her ALTA Junior League team and recognized the value of team sports, as she felt her teammates were counting on her. That helped her learn how to overcome nerves and pressure, and to never give up.
Siegel’s love of tennis also led her to make a difference in her community by volunteering for Special Pops. The joy she remembers when she could successfully teach a special needs beginner how to serve is one thing she says she will never forget.
When Siegel was young, one of her goals was to become the next Chris Evert. She might not have made it on the WTA tour, but from her eyes, she has accomplished what she set out to do (like Evert) by making a difference in a person’s life to help them learn the game of tennis. Siegel graduated from Northview High School and is looking forward to her college years at Florida State University.
Congratulations to all of our 2019 ALTA Foundation scholarship winners.