2009 Junior Tennis champion of the Year: Dan Faber
It’s quite an understatement to say that Dan Faber is a busy man. Faber is the executive director of the NJTL of Trenton, N.J., one of the most active NJTL’s in the country.
“Our mission is to enhance lives and strengthen character by providing opportunities in tennis, education and nutrition,” says Faber, who has a master’s degree in educational administration. In 2008, Faber resigned from teaching to work for the NJTL full time. In his time there, “We’ve gone from 250 kids to touching the lives of 2,500 kids.”
“Dan mixes the passion of a teacher with the business savvy of an executive to create a large and sophisticated NJTL chapter on the cutting edge of youth development work,” says Dan Limbago, the USTA’s national manager for the National Junior Tennis and Learning network. And for 2009, Faber is RSI’s Junior Tennis Champion of the Year.
“We have quite an array of opportunities for our participants,” says Faber. The NJTL runs after-school and summer programs, many of which have an academic component designed to “enhance what they learn in the classroom.”
More than 1,000 kids from 20 public schools participate in a program using QuickStart Tennis that culminates in a citywide tournament. Summer camps are at eight parks and schools. The MITES program (Mobile IT Education Support) brings 10 laptop computers from site to site so kids can work on them. The NJTL also provides college scholarships. And all this just scratches the surface.
“This past year, we grew by 40 percent in both revenue and participants, and we’re looking to do the same next year,” says Faber.
Tips for success
- Use tennis as a hook for teaching responsible behavior, sportsmanship, health and fitness, leadership and more.
- Academic curriculum for kids needs to be as engaging as the tennis.
- Use your connections. Faber used his educational contacts to help create a 24-week curriculum for NJTL kids.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.