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Delray Beach tennis star Coco Gauff expressed an interest in working with a nonprofit that helps children and families in her hometown.
So Microsoft and the 17-year-old Gauff teamed up to refresh the main computer lab and build two additional labs at Delray Beach’s Achievement Centers for Children & Families with the donation of new devices, ensuring students will have updated technology available to pursue their dreams.
“This community has given me a lot, so it’s definitely important to give back,” said Gauff, who understands firsthand the ways that technology could benefit education.
The professional tennis player and full-time remote student is the youngest player ranked in the top 100 by the Women’s Tennis Association and has a career-high ranking of world No. 23 in singles and No. 42 in doubles.
While completing classes alongside her rigorous training schedule, she was inspired to provide some of the same tools to students in Delray Beach, where she and her parents grew up.
Due to COVID-19 limitations, Gauff used Microsoft Teams to surprise the kids with a special event in between stops at the French Open and Wimbledon.
During the event, Gauff helped students complete the new Space Jam: A New Legacy coding workshop in which they learned about game design.
The students were also able to ask Gauff questions to learn more about the rising star from their community, including how she became a professional tennis player and what her favorite subject is in school.
Gauff opened the event by appearing on a school monitor in the classroom.
“Hello everyone, it’s Coco, what’s up?” she asked. “What have you been working on?”
When the students answered, “we have been learning how to create games,” she responded, “wow, that’s so cool.”
ACCF Foundation Director Jessica Hall said she is pleased with the partnership.
“We are thrilled that Coco Gauff decided to help a nonprofit in her hometown,” she said. “These computers will mean that the children that attend Achievement Centers for Children & Families will have even more opportunities to learn and have fun too.”
“Maybe this can give a kid the opportunity to find their own passions,” Gauff said before offering advice to the students. “Make your dreams as big as possible because you never know how far they will go.”
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Children who participate in the Achievement Centers for Children & Families are involved in Early Learning (Toddler and Preschool), After School, Teen and Summer Camp programs that help prepare them for academic and social success and inspire them to discover their talents.
Their families are served through their Family Strengthening and Economic Stabilization services that benefit the community by stabilizing families in crisis, supporting them to serve as the foundation of their child’s growth.
The nonprofit serves hundreds of children and families each year from three locations in Delray Beach: Nancy K. Hurd Campus, Village Academy and Pine Grove Elementary.
“We are extremely thankful to have been chosen as the recipients for this collaboration,” ACCF CEO Stephanie Seibel said. “Our students were beyond excited to virtually meet Coco and have the opportunity to ask her questions and talk to her.
“The new computers and software will allow us to offer more assistance with homework help and even add a specialized program around coding camps for our summer camp program,” she said. “We want to extend an enormous thank you to Coco and Microsoft for this generous contribution.”