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  • Tenacity
  • 38 Everett Street
    Suite 50
  • Allston, MA 02134
  • 1999
  • Sarah Cohen
  • Director of College Prep and Alumni Programs
  • 617-756-7166

Program Description

In 1999, Tenacity was founded as an organization that would leverage tennis as a magnet to attract and retain at-risk urban youth to a high-quality academic support and physical fitness program. Their vision was to provide a safe, productive and healthy out-of-school time (after-school and summer) environment and thus enable youth to achieve excellence in the classroom, while learning life-skills and developing character. Since its inception, Tenacity programs have been refined and expanded to meet our fundamental mission, to improve the scholastic, character, and physical development of urban youth through a combination of academic support and tennis instruction/competition with a focus on life-skills."

Currently, Tenacity serves over 5,000 students a year in both our Summer Tennis and Reading Program and our school-year Pathway Programs. The Pathway encompasses: the Elementary Program, the Middle School Academy, the College Prep Program and the Alumni Program. The goal of our Pathway program is to ensure that our Tenacity students reach post-secondary success.

Tenacity's Middle School Academy (MSA) is our most intensive core program in which we invest an incredible amount of time and energy. In this program, students receive tennis, literacy and life-skills instruction at 5 BPS middle schools. Once students have graduated from MSA, they move along the pathway into our College Prep Program. The mission of this program is to keep our students on a successful trajectory throughout high school with an emphasis placed on college and career readiness. One highlight of our program is our College Scholarship Program, which allows our students to earn up to $6,000 to go towards unmet need for college expenses. To be eligible for our scholarship program, students must participate in a high school readiness workshops series ensuring that they begin high school with a strong foundation. In the 9th and 10th grades, students attend monthly meetings that continue to emphasize study skills and life skills development. In the 11th and 12th grade, students continue to be supported in academics and study skills, but the focus shifts to guiding our students through Tenacity's College and Career Advising Curriculum. This process helps students research, apply, afford, and choose their best-fit post-secondary plans. In addition, students visit many local colleges and universities and are connected to additional resources, including SAT prep, financial aid support, scholarship opportunities, and more.

After students graduate from high school, they enter the Alumni Program. Of this group of students, 80% are pursuing some form of higher education. Many of these students are still connected to Tenacity and rely on us for guidance and assistance as they try to overcome obstacles that get in the way of college persistence.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Other
  • Parent/family services
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants


Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 1250
  • Middle School: 1250
  • Elementary School: 1250
  • Post-secondary: 1250
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students


  • More than 75%

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 80%