The Panda Foundation was established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2000. Our
mission is twofold: First, to help children by intervening in their lives and facilitating their
successful futures, using tennis as the hook. Literacy, reading, proper nutrition and education are our mission’s primary focal points, but we address needs of the entire family to ensure success. Second, to provide the training and resources to help those youngsters that aspire to professional tennis careers. Our partnership with the Bollettieri Tennis and Learning Program (BTL) has achieved phenomenal success by our collaboration with the University of South Florida.
Low self-esteem, drugs, poor health and diminishing educational opportunities are the obstacles that separate urban youth from the nation at large. Most of the children served by us come from single-parent families with annual incomes less than $25,000 per year, seeing few avenues to a better life.
We provide children with educational material, mentoring, and training seminars using tennis as the vehicle to deliver these services. Our service includes items critical to success like tutoring, guidance, and medical support to address the issue of childhood obesity and diabetes. We provide families with child care alternatives, employment skills, health and nutrition education, parenting training and recreation. Significantly, our relationship with BTL and the University of South Florida (USF) guarantees a pathway to college to each of our students who graduate from High School with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Our Professional Development division provides training, coaching and support to talented young people that aspire to play on the professional tennis tour. This division creates a link between our 10 & Under program, our National Junior Tennis & Learning Program for teens and adulthood.
We would like to thank the following individuals and companies for their support of the Panda Foundation:
Mr. Nick Bollettieri
Mr. Wilbert R. Davis
Mr. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees
Mr. John Hendrickson
Ms. Mary Lou Whitney
Blake Medical Center
Manatee County Government
Manatee County Board of Education
The Tonkawa Foundation
National Christian Foundation
The McAllister Foundation
Ms. Sally Jacobs
Ms. Lydia Frye