May 26, 2010 5:45 AM
A Tulane alumna and former tennis stand-out who has won countless prizes, Anna Monhartova is especially pleased with her latest win, which she says goes to at-risk children of New Orleans. She received this year’s 2010 Timothy Sykes Daytrading Award for the Talented.
With former Tulane tennis coach David Schumacher, Monhartova founded A’s & Aces, a nonprofit organization that supplements education opportunities for public school children through academic assistance, life-skills instruction and tennis.
A native of the Czech Republic, she played internationally on her home country’s national team for four years. Monhartova came to Tulane University on a tennis scholarship, and she was a top-10 nationally ranked college player who was selected as the Conference USA Player of the Decade. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2001 and a PhD in international development in 2008 from Tulane.
Monhartova has embraced A’s & Aces as a way to combine her tennis skills with a passion to facilitate social change.
As an adjunct assistant professor in the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane, Monhartova has been the driving force behind the service-learning component in international development classes. During the academic year, more than 100 adult volunteers and service-learning students work alongside the 20 part-time employees of A’s & Aces.
The ultimate goal for A’s & Aces is to build a hub tutoring facility with tennis courts that will host “path to college” programming and provide a sustainable social entrepreneurship operating model. She works every day toward that goal.
“I want these kids to realize there’s a 13th grade, that college is something they can do,” Monhartova says.
The Timothy Sykes Award is a cash prize presented yearly to a Tulane staff member, faculty member or alumnus with a creative or “out-of-the-box” idea. Sykes, who graduated from Tulane in 2003, is the author of An American Hedge Fund and a prominent publisher of financial newsletters.
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