XSTEF was born of XS Tennis, a program that started in 2005 on Chicago’s South Side with five minority tennis players. Four of those first five XS players received full scholarships to college, and one, Taylor Townsend, went on to a professional tennis career. XS Tennis has since sent more minorities to Division 1 schools with tennis scholarships than any other tennis organization in the nation. XS Tennis now serves thousands of players supported by more than twenty tennis professionals, administrative staff, high school counselors and volunteers.

In 2008, XS Tennis formed XSTEF in order to reach and support a greater number of Chicago’s underserved urban youth. Through its in-school program, XSTEF brings tennis into ten CPS elementary schools in at-risk communities, introducing a pathway that continues through the XSTEF after school and summer camp programs. XSTEF now impacts the lives of nearly 3,000 students.