player spotlight

Meet Grace Reed, a 17 year old tennis & golf high school varsity player from our ACEing Autism Phoenix program. 

Grace recalled first volunteering at 13 years old alongside her mother. Actually, volunteering is a family affair for the Reeds as her sister volunteers and her father too when his job allows. 

“We volunteered with the Special Olympics as a family before ACEing Autism,” the newly promoted Clinic Director said. “Knowing Chad and Elana and how personal it was to them, it made it even more special.”

Grace has loved “seeing the kids every week, making that connection and being someone that they can talk to outside of their counselor or people at school.” 

Thanks to all her wonderful work, Grace started as a 13 year old volunteer working with her mother then volunteered on her own and will now be a Clinic Director. “One of my responsibilities is to see the best way to communicate with the players. I know a lot about them because we have a lot of returning students, so I get to help our volunteers in that department,” she said in her joyful tone. 

She sees participants go from basic racquet skills to rallying or barely talking to starting conversations, and Grace has herself observed a lot about the community. “They always have something they enjoy so learning what that is and getting them to make that conversation to work on social skills has been key.”

Another observation is that “they are really focused, they want to perform well and just need a little bit of encouragement.”

In addition to her accomplishments at such a young age, Grace is in her honor society and does tutoring, toy drives and other events such as fundraisers for the school. 

Join us in congratulating her on everything she’s accomplished! We are so lucky to have you in our family!