The Eastern Tennis Association, a section of the United States Tennis Association, annually makes the award to “a person or organization who has demonstrated leadership and promotional initiatives in bringing tennis programs to diverse communities within the section.”
Kagan has worked with the Onondaga Nation School tennis program since it began with a grant from the Junior Tennis Foundation in 2007. Part of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network, the program has become year-round, offering instruction, fun and tournament competition to students.
“The award is for me as executive director of the program, but I feel Chris Capella (an Onondaga and teacher) and the Onondaga Nation School should share in the award, as I have chosen to house the award at the Onondaga Nation School,” Kagan said.
She also said that for the past two years, they have organized a four-week summer program at Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes (Where They Play Ball), the pavilion for box lacrosse on the Nation. “What’s most exciting, is that we go to AAKD, or Arthur Ashe Kids' Day (in New Jersey), by chartered bus as the culminating activity to the tennis program,” she said.