Serena Williams is one of if not the most recognizable female athletes of all-time and without a doubt the biggest name in Women’s Tennis. Her dominance on the court and solidified position in North American pop culture has made her a role model and positive influence on so many young women. Plagued with a series of injuries over the last few years, Williams possesses a work ethic that has seen her return to the sport she loves on multiple occasions with plenty of success among her returns. Her positive outlook and determination can be seen off the court, as well through the endless work and care she provides for others.
A devout Christian and philanthropist at heart, Williams has been known to donate her time and money to various charities and organizations with the love of helping others who are less fortunate. Following the earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010, Serena, along side various ATP and WTA stars, skipped out on the final day of the Australian Open preparations to form and run a charity event with all proceeds going to residents and victims of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake.
On November 14, 2008, Williams achieved one of her ultimate goals and was part of the opening ceremonies for the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya. Inspired by a previous tour throughout Africa and the realization of the poverty and lack of affordable education, Williams opened her school to give children a chance at free education and an opportunity to learn and become a positive influence on their community. Free education is a vital positive step in areas such as Africa where a vast majority of families cannot afford to send their children to school.
Serena is known to frequently visit her roots in Africa and has never been shy about her love and pride for her home. She is also aware of the problems many face in the United States and elected to face the problems at home by offering American high school students grants and the opportunity to attend college. Spending a good part of her childhood living in Compton, California, Serena is aware of the importance of proper education and the productivity of today’s youth.
Throughout a career of Grand Slams victories and multiple achievements and awards on the tennis court, Williams efforts off the court have to been recognized on various occasions. In 2003, she received the Celebrity Role Model Award from the Avon Foundation for her work in the fight against breast cancer. She has also been the recipient of the Young Heroes Award from the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater L.A and Inland.
Her success and overwhelming power within the world of tennis has made her a superstar; but it is her love and care for the development and well being of today’s youth and tomorrow’s future that has made her a fan favourite. Her selflessness and devotion to society is a reflection of her day-to-day beliefs and morals.
To keep up with or learn more about the Serena Williams Secondary School, visit http://www.buildafricanschools.org/