By Karen Ronney
Denise Campbell is an individual who leads by example. She lets her actions do the talking because she is a humble and quiet person by nature. However, her strong work ethic and determination to succeed speaks volumes. Campbell is a junior at John W. North High in Riverside. She was the Sunbelt League singles champion and league’s Most Valuable Player. For her efforts, the SCTA Foundation has awarded her the Kramer Future Champions Grant and Henry Talbert Summer Tennis Camp Scholarship Grant this year.
“Denise has displayed talent and drive in her tennis journey,” said Linda Milan, Executive Director of of the SCTA Foundation. “We are proud of her accomplishments and we are happy to help her with reach her goals.”
Scott Harris, the assistant girl’s varsity tennis coach at John W. North High School, has been working with Campbell for years. He has encouraged her training efforts and now guides her as she approaches her college search process.
“She is becoming a complete player,” Harris said. “She has matured and shown tremendous growth on the court and as a person. She is preparing herself well to go to college.”
Campbell, 16, picked up a racket at age five and was determined to succeed in tennis. By age 10, she set her sights on a professional tennis career. She has been the No. 1 singles player at her high school for three years and she maintains strong grades. Now 5-feet and 10 1/2-inches tall, she added a college tennis scholarship to her wish list. Her academic and career goals are diverse with interests in both fashion design and criminology.
“I’ve had a drive for the game of tennis since I was young and I’m still determined to play,” said Campbell, a First-Team All-Sunbelt League selection. “I’ve been talking to colleges and keeping an open mind. I want to have a great experience and I’m excited about the possibilities.”
When asked for three words that best describe her, Campbell said “caring, responsible and giving.” These qualities were spot on as Campbell has been a junior tennis coach since age 14 at Let’s Teach in Riverside. She was Safe Play certified by the USTA and she loves to help younger players who are just learning the sport.
“I do it because I want to teach kids the things I wish I knew when I was their age,” said Campbell, also a discus champion in middle school. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching people something new and I want them to love tennis like I do. It’s really rewarding to see them get better.”
Campbell also has a second part-time job at a Yoshinoya, Japanese restaurant near her home. With tennis, work and school, Campbell finds time to get everything done.
“Denise is tenacious,” said Campbell’s mother, Synthia Campbell. “Like anyone else, she has had ups and downs but she gets up and keeps going. She is a very determined young woman. I believe she will do great things.”
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TENNIS ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION
Our mission of “Changing Lives and Communities through Tennis,” serves as a pathway to offer financial support to individuals and organizations. We are a 501©3 nonprofit organization and the charitable arm of USTA Southern California. We help people of all ages and abilities to improve their health, fitness and quality of life through the sport of tennis. Founded in 1986, the SCTA Foundation has had a community impact of giving more than $500,000 this year through grants, scholarships, program support, equipment and more to recipients throughout Southern California. To learn more about the SCTA Foundation, please visit sctafoundation.org. To donate CLICK HERE