Impactful Tennis: High Schoolers Making a Difference in the Lives of Seniors


In a world where community service and sports often go hand in hand, a group of passionate high school tennis players in Contra Costa County has taken it upon themselves to make a remarkable impact. Through their initiative called Impactful Tennis, these dedicated young individuals not only raise funds for Meals on Wheels Diablo Region but also inspire children to pursue tennis. Impactful Tennis was founded in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, by Jake Hammerman, a varsity tennis athlete and a senior at Campolindo High School. Now that Hammerman is heading off to college, Diego Ledezma, an Acalanes High School varsity tennis player, is set to carry the torch and take over the initiative, continuing the legacy of making a difference in the lives of seniors.

The Power of Impactful Tennis

Impactful Tennis is a unique program that enables high school tennis players to give back to the community by offering tennis lessons in exchange for charitable donations. “I wanted to find a way to help out my community and thought that I could use tennis to make that happen,” says Hammerman. "I knew that many kids, had their summer plans canceled and were looking for new activities to fill the void. I began recruiting other instructors to join me and we put together a team that gave lessons in exchange for a charitable donation to Meals on Wheels Diablo Region.”

Over the past three summers, a team of 20 instructors has provided over 808 lessons and raised an impressive $34,725 for Meals on Wheels Diablo Region, a vital organization that delivers meals and supportive services to homebound and vulnerable seniors in Contra Costa County. “All of our instructors have been so important in making Impactful Tennis as successful as it is. We would not be able to give as many lessons or make as great of an impact on the seniors in our community without all of our teammates volunteering so many summer hours to the cause,” says Jake Hammerman.

Supporting Meals on Wheels Diablo Region

Meals on Wheels Diablo Region has been facing a significant increase in requests for delivered meals and supportive services since the pandemic, highlighting the critical need for their services. This essential organization ensures that seniors receive nutritious meals, along with vital companionship and assistance in addressing housing issues, elder abuse, long-term care, and depression. The donations raised by Impactful Tennis go directly to Meals on Wheels Diablo Region, helping them continue their mission of providing care and support to those in need.

The Impactful Tennis Experience

Diego, the next leader of Impactful Tennis, describes what it’s like to receive a tennis lesson. The instructor starts by meeting the parents and students at the tennis courts. “Students share their experience level and specific areas they would like to improve upon,” says Diego. The instructor then begins with warm-up stretches and feeds balls to assess the students' skill levels, with customized drills to focus on the areas they wish to work on. For advanced students, the instructor finishes the lesson by engaging in competitive play with the student. At the end of the session, students are reminded of key takeaways for their future lessons.

Expanding the Reach

Looking ahead, Diego has set ambitious goals, saying, "My goals for this year are to raise $10,000 and expand the initiative to more schools." He plans to involve students from Acalanes and Miramonte in addition to the current Campolindo team to increase lesson slots and further amplify their impact. By expanding the program's reach, Diego aims to inspire and engage even more young tennis enthusiasts while raising additional funds for a worthy cause.

Community Involvement

Diego believes that the community can play a significant role in supporting Impactful Tennis. “One way to contribute is by spreading the word to parents or children interested in tennis and encouraging them to reach out via email,” he says. The initiative welcomes newcomers who are eager to make a positive impact on the community while pursuing their passion for tennis. By joining hands with the community, Impactful Tennis can continue to thrive and bring positive change to the lives of seniors in need.

Impactful Tennis stands as a shining example of the power of youth-driven initiatives. Through their dedication and passion for tennis, these high schoolers are not only raising substantial funds for Meals on Wheels Diablo Region but also inspiring younger generations to embrace the sport. 

Those who are interested in signing up for tennis lessons may do so by clicking here. Additional information about Impactful Tennis can be found on their website here.

Together, they are creating a positive impact that will be felt for years to come.

Impactful Tennis instructors delivering meals to seniors in Lafayette.