13 year old Levi is part of the Addison Reserve Project for children at risk at the Samson Israel Tennis & Education Center in Beer Sheva. Levi comes from a broken home with many financial difficulties, but thanks to tennis and the ITEC, he has learned to smile again.
Levi’s parents divorced when he was very young and his father moved to a city an hour away from Beer Sheva. There were long periods of time, when the young boy and his brother did not have contact with their father. The break-up was very difficult for Levi, as he craved a male role model in his life.
Everything changed in the summer of 2011, when Levi was given the opportunity to be a part of the Addison Reserve Program. It is a summer program providing children at risk an alternative normative framework that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Through the medium of tennis, the program raises awareness regarding the dangers of substance abuse while instilling values and teaching life skills that strengthen the resilience of these young boys and girls. Yaniv Sakira, manager of the ITEC – Beer Sheva, explains: “Levi is a truly amazing child and his smile will melt your heart. He came to the Center a little lost and without the possibility of enjoying any extracurricular activities. Tennis has really given him something positive and healthy to focus on and I am sure he will continue to improve and to develop his tennis and his life skills.”
Thanks to Levi’s wonderful on-court results and positive off-court attitude, he was chosen to represent the ITEC in exhibitions in the United States.
“I love tennis so much.” Levi said. “I always have so much fun when I go to the Center and I want to keep playing so I can get better. I was so excited to travel to the United States to meet all the people helping me achieve my dreams.”
The ITEC is proud of Levi and his accomplishments. He is a tremendous example of the difference that the ITEC’s social impact programs can make on the lives of children.