MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday, as part of our Community Changers series, we highlight organizations making Memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that wants Memphis to play tennis.

Arnold Thompson is the Director of Outreach and Community Development for Tennis Memphis, a non-profit organization working to increase exposure to the sport. “We’re about bringing diverse groups of people together, creating community and enhancing people’s lives through tennis and education.”

Thompson says the sport is a great teacher. “It teaches you so much about yourself, how to cope, life, adversity, your strengths and grows your self-esteem. We want everyone to experience that.”

And when Tennis Memphis says everyone, they mean it.

“For all of our youth programs, if your family cannot afford to pay our already low fees, all you have to do is submit your information. We have a sliding scale and financial aid,” said Thompson.

Sixteen-year-old Brooklyn Eason and eleven-year-old Katelyn London are learning a lot through Tennis Memphis.

“Tennis is just like life,” said Katelyn. “If I can be down in a set in tennis, you can’t show emotion. In life, you can be down in something, but you don’t want to show emotion. So I’ve learned how to control my emotion in tennis and in life.”

Brooklyn says it gives her positivity. “Going about things with an open mindset and feeling good about yourself, and being a good teammate.”

All skill levels are welcome, from never held a racket to the super competitive. The coaches teach all the stokes, spins and serves. But it’s what the kids are carrying off the court that truly shines.

“I’m more on the heavy side,” said Brooklyn. “It’s kind of hard, but I learn from the coaches to push through and be mentally focused.”

“We know if you’re not having your best day, we’re still going to push to find that edge to have a good day,” Katelyn said.

That is why Brown Missionary Baptist Church wants to give Tennis Memphis $1,000 because making tennis accessible to everyone creates a community on and off the court.

A true community changer.

For more information about the non-profit organization, click here.