Kids on the Ball, founded by Jake Agna in 2000, is a nationally acclaimed tennis program based in Burlington, Vermont. In the past 16 years, thousands of area youth have participated in the various programs learning life skills and lessons disguised as tennis.

About Jake Agna

Jake Agna is founder of the Kids on the Ball, an award-winning tennis and mentoring program in Burlington, Vermont. After years of helping thousands of under-served, at-risk youth through Kids on the Ball, Agna is committed to do the same in other cities and countries.

Duplicating Success

Plans for the next year include replicating Kids on the Ball programming to additional cities. Inviting tennis professionals, Community Tennis Associations, and youth serving non-profit organizations from across the country to Burlington to experience first hand Kids on the Ball in action is the first step in duplicating this award-winning programming.

Rebuilding the Courts in Cuba

After first travelling to Cuba in 2015, Jake was inspired by the warmth and spirit of the Cuban people. Determined to improve the deplorable conditions at the National Tennis Center in Havana, Jake secured funding to resurface the courts at the Center which will allow Cuban youth to engage in tennis is a safer, more exciting and appropriate manner. This project was completed in November 2016.

Exchange Programs

Over the past year, diverse groups traveled to Cuba with Kids on the Ball. These trips will continue and expand to include youth exchange programs. Several trips are in the planning stages.

We Can't Do it Without Help

Kids on the Ball, Inc. seeks continued financial support to solidify its base of operations in order to expand programming and broaden its reach to positively affect greater numbers of youth. We are very grateful for all of the generous gifts to date. To donate to the project click here. Please note any donation is tax-deductible as Kids on the Ball is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization.

One Ball at a Time

“We’re changing lives, one ball at a time. Bringing kids together to learn from each other and support each other is my passion. I’m humbled by this opportunity and the incredible support we have received,” - Jake Agna

Kids on the Ball: In Action

Building not just courts but relationships

Jake Agna, Founder, Kids on the Ball

"These are great kids, with great hearts, pride in their community and love for each other. We have things to share, but also much to learn from them.”

Senator Patrick Leahy

“After 50 years of a failed policy, I am glad to see we are taking steps to not only change our official relations with the Cuban people but also to engage with each other culturally. Sports in particular have the power to bring people together and promote understanding, regardless of the differences that exist between governments. As Marcelle and I have seen on our visits to Cuba, we will find that, as people, we are not all that different. I am glad Vermonters -- and tennis -- will play a role in this process.”

Steve Hinding, Hinding Tennis

“This is such an important project and we are proud to be a part of it. Our team has worked on many grass roots programs and we have seen firsthand how people, especially children, benefit from tennis programs both on and off the courts. The efforts behind this entire project are extraordinary!”