VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - GameSetMatch Volunteer Marium Raza shares why she enjoys volunteering at AYTEF
Updated: Jan 19
Marium Raza -
Georgia State University
How did you hear about AYTEF?
I learned about AYTEF while searching for non-profit organizations that aligned with my personal values, specifically one that served an under-resourced community in Atlanta that encompassed athletics with academics. I have a background playing Division 1 tennis at George Mason University (2018-2020); Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I had to transfer schools due to personal circumstances. Upon transferring, I no longer play tennis collegiately, yet I wanted to find a way where I could give back and teach the skills that I have learned over the years to others who may not have had the same privileges I was fortunate to have growing up. Coincidentally, I came across AYTEF, so I reached out to the director for more information and the rest is history!
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering with our youth?
I truly enjoy volunteering with our youth because I get to see the kid’s growth first-hand and how their confidence levels increase not only in their tennis abilities but also in the way they interact with peers and when learning of their successes. I genuinely feel a sense of contentment coming to AYTEF because of the kid’s positive attitudes and willingness to learn.
How has this volunteer experience impacted you?
Volunteering at AYTEF has impacted me immensely because there is a deeper meaning to just teaching tennis. Being a volunteer at AYTEF has given me the chance to learn about a community that is not my own and empower kids so that they too feel they can learn new skills that may seem impossible in the beginning. When I transferred schools, I felt helpless because tennis was a large portion of my identity, and it was an outlet for me when times were difficult. Since volunteering at AYTEF, I have felt like a part of me is whole again by allowing me to get back in touch with the sport and being able to transfer my knowledge and skills to the youth so that they can build a community of leaders going forward.