Scholarships and Leadership Development

Financial Assistance for BCTA Programs

The Barry Sysler Tennis Program Scholarship waives all or part of the BCTA program fee for youth athletes interested in tennis, but whose families are not able to afford this opportunity.  For information and an application form, email buckscountytennis@verizon.net

Scholarships are limited and are granted at the sole discretion of the BCTA on a case-by-case basis for one five-week BCTA season.  Applicants can request renewals after each season. Scholarships are not awarded retroactively and must be applied for at the time of registration.

All requests will be held in complete confidence and based on the situation, the age of the child, extent of support, etc.

An applicant's family may be asked for the following:

  1. Explanation/proof of need.
  2. Tennis essay/thank you written by the recipient of the scholarship.  
  3. Participation in the BCTA Youth Leadership Development Program or other volunteer involvement.
  4. Additional clarification as appropriate.

The tennis program scholarship is named in memory of Dr. Barry Sysler, a long-time BCTA volunteer, tennis enthusiast, and educator.

Barry, who passed away unexpectedly in February 2014, was a member of the BCTA Advisory Board. He also co-founded and served as Tournament Director/Referee for the BCTA Jr. Boys’ 16 classic (a USTA sanctioned event) since its inception in 2002.  Barry was a certified USTA official with more than a dozen years of experience officiating Division I, II and III college matches. He recently retired from the Bucks County Community College, where he was a professor for 40 years—26 of which he served as the men's and women's head tennis coach.  Barry was also involved in many other recreational ventures, most notably pool management.

Barry was the founder and president of Academic Directions, Inc., which assisted families of college-bound children to find an affordable and successful fit.   He was one of the few Certified Educational Planners in the country to be considered an expert on the college funding process. He held a Ph.D. from Temple University and conducted numerous workshops each year for parents of high school students to educate them about the college admissions process and how to qualify for financial aid and merit scholarship packages.

In memory of the integral part that Barry played in the tennis, educational and Bucks County communities, the BCTA and Sysler family are pleased to offer the tennis program scholarship as a continuation of Barry’s dedication to helping young people.

HOW TO APPLY for the Barry Sysler scholarship

Requests must be submitted through the BCTA Scholarship Application below. After receiving a competed application, the BCTA may also request supportive documentation such as: 

  • The first 2 pages of the most recent federal income tax return
  • W-2 Wage and Tax Statement
  • Department of Public Welfare (DPW) statement/COMPASS account benefit detail
  • Unemployment, Disability or SSI Benefits Planning Query letter
  • Last 3 pay stubs

Please only submit this information if requested. All application records will be kept confidential.

SELECTION PROCESS

A confidential review of the application and possible personal interview with the applicant/guardian will determine financial assistance eligibility. The BCTA reserves the right to refuse assistance to any applicant. Once financial assistance is established, the BCTA reserves the right to retain any payments the applicant has made to date. Prior to each new season, the BCTA will review eligibility. Seasonal interviews with the recipient may be conducted and a coach evaluation/recommendation will confirm the athlete/family involvement based on:  behavior—on or off court—is consistent with BCTA values; sportsmanship/demeanor is consistent with BCTA standards overall compatibility with the coach/other athletes; candidate’s ability to contribute; fulfillment of agreed upon requests; etc.

If it is discovered that false information was presented and/or the recipient does not represent BCTA values or has not completed the requests, the BCTA has the right to terminate assistance immediately.

 

Joseph J. Canfield Youth Leadership Development Program   

Joe Canfield was a very active community volunteer and leader in his local community. In addition, he volunteered many hours for the USTA Middle States section during its office moves and re-organizations 1990–2002, and more recently, repaired pop-up portable nets for school and  public park tennis programs run by BCTA. 

In Joe’s honor, the BCTA has established the Joseph J. Canfield Youth Leadership Development Program, which is aligned with the vision, mission, and values the Bucks County Tennis Association and is based on a “learning by doing” approach.

While volunteer “helping hands” are always welcome and appreciated, the year-round Youth Leadership Development Program is for high school students who can commit to a level of volunteer service to the BCTA in order to fulfill their required school volunteer hours and/or simply build their resume, self-confidence, and skill set for future work opportunities. Selected candidates gain valuable leadership and communication experience while making an important contribution to the organization and the community by working side-by-side with experienced BCTA Coaches delivering on-court tennis programs to youth and adults. Some off-court leadership opportunities may also be available.

Priority (although not exclusive) consideration will be given to candidates who participate on their high school tennis teams and/or in past/present BCTA programs. 

Although candidate involvement is at the discretion of the BCTA, in general, the levels are as follows:

  • Occasional Volunteer Tennis Enthusiast:  Helps, when available, at specific BCTA events such as Play Days, tournaments, etc. Advance commitment required for a minimum of 2 volunteer hours at a specific BCTA event such as Play Days, etc.
  •  Junior Assistant:  A minimum 5-week commitment to one full season, 2–4 hours per week. Generally, this category relates to individuals looking for a long-term commitment to fulfill National Honor Society or School Community Service Hours or others striving for consideration for future BCTA stipend positons.
  • Assistant Coach: A minimum 5-week commitment to one full season, 2-4 hours per week. Requires BCTA Coach recommendation and administrative approval; and generally this stipend position requires extensive experience as a Junior Assistant. Students achieving this level may be considered for a stipend position with the BCTA based on mentor(s) evaluation re: skills, maturity, commitment, experience/hours logged, etc., and may be eligible (based on overall appraisal and available positons) for future Head Coaching positions (generally at age 18).

Note: The BCTA reserves the right to terminate a BCTA Junior Leadership Development Program candidate’s involvement based on sportsmanship and behavior—on or off court—that is not consistent with BCTA values, candidate’s compatibility with the coach/athletes, candidate’s ability to contribute, overall commitment, etc.

For more information about the Joseph J. Canfield Youth Leadership Development Program, please contact the BCTA at buckscountytennis@verizon.net. Prospective candidates are encouraged to review the BCTA website in advance of for programs by town to determine the locations, programs, seasons, hours, etc., before completing the Leadership Development Program application.