The mission of MWKF is to utilize tennis as a tool to improve academic performance, self-esteem, and positive life choices in youth, particularly at-risk youth from disadvantaged circumstances who otherwise would not be exposed to the sport or targeted for intervention. By correlating success on the court with success in life, we foster leadership, sportsmanship, self-esteem, confidence, discipline, accountability, and the value of hard work, teamwork, and individual effort.
Founded in 1994 by former tennis professional and Wimbledon finalist MaliVai Washington, the Foundation initially served as a grant-making organization. In order to have a more direct impact, the Foundation began providing program services in the greater Jacksonville area in 1997. With the growth of its program offerings, MWKF evolved from a private foundation to a 501(c)(3) designated non-profit in 1999. Our programs have touched the lives of more than 14,000 youth across the first coast since our inception.