Meet Jeremy Chung, a volunteer from our Washington, DC program, who was also recognized by the USTA Mid Atlantic section during Asian American Pacific Islander Month. “I’m a High School ambassador and promote the important aspect of tennis on social media,” the Chinese descendant explained. “I drive conversations online about how accessible it is for the community.”
Jeremy started volunteering for ACEing Autism in the Spring 2021, after learning about it online and being inspired. “I thought it would be cool to teach and show the fun parts of it to kids on the spectrum,” the high school player said.
But this isn’t the only reason Jeremy wanted to be involved. “When I visited China, I had a friend on the spectrum and didn’t know what it meant,” he told us. “Then my parents taught me what it meant for parents. especially in China, that they are worried about how they will turn out in the future.”
As he got more familiar with autism, Jeremy “realized that their goals are a lot different. For example, it’s mainly about socializing and other skills and not becoming the best tennis player,” as he laughed.
In addition, he recognized that kids on the spectrum are very different in their own way. “They think differently and do things differently but they all have great personalities.”
For Jeremy, seeing how appreciative the parents are is one of the things that make him come back. “When they see how much fun their child is having, it shows to me that I did my job.”
His love of volunteering has been a big part of making this experience memorable for Jeremy. “I wanted to give back to tennis and it has opened up a whole new side of tennis and people.”
As we wrap up our discussion, Jeremy leaves with a few words of wisdom. “At first you might feel uncomfortable but it takes time to get to know them, enjoy what you do and you’ll enjoy it.”