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November 2012
ARF Hosts Holiday Community Meeting At Area Middle School

 “We appreciate the fact that you wanted to talk to the students and teachers first, to learn what was needed in the community before opening the tennis center.”  That’s what Manuel Ornelas, principal of the Gus Garcia Middle School announced at ARF’s second community meeting.  While ARF’s inaugural community meeting focused on announcing general plans for the tennis and learning center to local neighborhood associations, residents, business leaders, and other non-profits, ARF held its second meeting with students, teachers and parents to gain deeper insight into the desires and needs of the target youth population. 


ARF Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lau laid out the plans for the center while Principal Ornelas translated for the Spanish-speaking audience.  “As we get closer to finalizing our programming plans, we wanted to hear first-hand from the parents, teachers and youth that live closest to our facility, so we can learn and make more informed decisions,” said Lau.    


More than 100 students, parents, and teachers attended the event.  Terry Russell, Parent Support Specialist for Gus Garcia Middle School, said, “Our students were excited about performing in our beautiful atrium in front of an attentive audience.  We’re really grateful for the Andy Roddick Foundation visit, and for including our students in their planning process.”  To help celebrate the coordination of youth needs and desires with the foundation’s strategies, the student orchestra, band, and dance team provided holiday entertainment, while other students, faculty, and staff decorated the school atrium and provided light refreshments.   


For more information, see the story on the Austin Independent School District website:

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