Meet Doris Obih, our Program Director from Inglewood, CA. Started in December 2020, she has only missed 3 Saturdays since.
“Growing up, I didn’t have the money to play tennis or pursue anything in tennis,” she recalled. “So as soon as I could, I wanted to correct that and started to raise money to start my own nonprofit organization in 2016,” the founder of 40Love said.
Doris always looks to improve herself and give the best to her players and families, and as such, she just graduated with her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a minor in Nonprofit Management. But things weren’t easy when she first started her foundation. “I was paying everything out of pocket and since I wanted to have one or two solid coaches but didn’t always have the money, we had to stop and go.”
Doris started with six players in her program that her and the coaches would drive to tournaments. “Once we started to talk to the city, they wanted all age programs, so we started a grassroots program,” the Dominguez Hills College graduate told us.
In order to sustain her foundation, Doris took three or four jobs at a time such as Instacart, Uber, or Grubhub so she could give her participants a safe place to be themselves. “I didn’t have Inglewood at first, we didn’t have any storage, I was paying out of pocket, and everything was word of mouth but they had a place to play tennis and be themselves.”
Later on, she was able to get funding from the city which allowed her to have an office and equipment shed for instance. “On top of the city’s help, I was also able to gather private funding. Thanks to all the help from everyone, we now have 120 participants consisting of children and adults,” she said, still amazed. As she grew her program, Doris took on ACEing Autism and incorporated it into her overall programming, giving her mission to give this opportunity to the community an even deeper meaning.
So what’s next for this fierce and dedicated influencer? “I’m hoping for more funding so we can obtain new coaches, revamp the program and expand,” the always positive Doris said. “I hope that we can expand to a few more parks in the next couple of years.”
And this might prove even easier as her hard work was noticed by Kelly Clarkson who invited her on her show. “Kelly Clarkson found us,” she said immediately when asked how this came to be. “We were picked as one of the 56 unsung heroes for the LA Superbowl and she found us through that. Since then, it’s been crazy with people calling and donating to us, it’s been incredible!,” the still astounded Doris explained.
Please, join us in congratulating Doris on all her success! Her perseverance and dedication to ACEing Autism and her foundation has been nothing short of incredible and we are so lucky to have her as part of our family.