Southeast Tennis and Learning Center Turns Ten

International Tennis Stars Venus and Serena Williams to Attend Anniversary Celebration

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC), the Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC) will host "The Tennis Ball II," a gala set to take place Thursday, April 28 at the SETLC (700 Mississippi Ave SE, Washington, DC). International tennis stars and SETLC mentors Venus and Serena Williams will be in attendance and Mayor Vincent C. Gray will serve as Honorary Chair of the event.

"We are thrilled to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the SETLC and are delighted that Venus and Serena Williams will be here as our guests of honor," said Cora Masters Barry, CEO of the Recreation Wish List Committee. "In the past decade, the Center has become an invaluable institution in Washington, DC, as we have served thousands of youth through our tennis and education programs that have successfully changed children's lives and the future of our community."

"Serena and I are proud to be a part of this 10th anniversary celebration as we have watched the growth of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center from its groundbreaking," said Venus Williams. "The sincere and heartfelt efforts of Ms. Barry and everyone who have contributed to the SETLC through the years mean a lot to us as we see ourselves in these children."

The RWLC and DC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) officially opened the SETLC in 2001, and the Center has found success in their approach of utilizing tennis instruction to attract at risk youth into a comprehensive learning environment. The "tennis scholars," as they are known, are held to a high academic standard as emphasis is placed on their education in addition to sport. Through a plethora of educational programs such as the widely celebrated "Blacks in Wax" Black History Month production, the sewing entrepreneur program "Sew N' Know," SETUP Summer Enrichment Program, and many others, youth in the Ward 8 community have found their niche at the SETLC.

The impact of the SETLC does not end when students leave the facility. The SETLC youth have won several United States Tennis Association (USTA) sanctioned tournaments over the years, including the 2010 USTA Junior Team Tennis Mid-Atlantic Championship. Additionally, over 27 youth have been awarded four-year tennis and academic scholarships at colleges and universities around the country.

"The opportunity to hold the 'The Tennis Ball II' at the SETLC and showcase what we do is extraordinary," said Barry. "Through the generous donations and money raised from the event, we will no doubt continue the work we have been able to achieve in the last decade for many more years to come."

To purchase tickets or tables call 202-678-7530 or email For additional information on "The Tennis Ball II" go to