Below is my latest blog post for FacesofYou.Net, a website created by fellow Howard Alumna Shari Logan that is dedicated to the uplifting and empowerment of young female girls.
The story is published at the title link below. You can also continue reading.
Blog written by Courtney Zellars
For Serena Williams, 2013 has been a big year both on and off the court.
On Sept. 8, the 32-year-old tennis player from Compton, California, won her second consecutive and overall fifth U.S. Open title against Victoria Azarenka. Her win also brought her Gram Slams singles title count to 17, “the sixth-most in history,” according to ESPN.com.
ESPN also notes that Williams has topped the $9 million record for prize money in a single season and $50 million for her career total of $50.9 million. Her older sister, Venus, is in second place for career totals with $28.8 million.
Currently ranked as World No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association for the sixth time, Serena has been revising history books since becoming a top-10 tennis player in 1999.
“Whether I’m No. 1 or No. 10, I feel like my opponents lift their game against me,” Williams is quoted saying in a recent article by the Indo Asian News Service during the Chinese Open. “I think it’s good. And I also think that’s one of the reasons it helped me to develop as well.”
But, over the years, Serena has developed into more than a talented tennis player; she has become an icon, extending her prowess beyond the court to community service, fashion, acting, and more.
In April, Driving Force Giving Circle – founded by Williams, hip hop music artist Common, and Chicago Bears’ linebacker James Anderson, launched with a karaoke fundraising event in New York. The Driving Force Giving Circle seeks to motivate the community to donate by finding and verifying effective and efficient philanthropic projects.
“I plan to use this platform to lend a megaphone to the causes that are most important to me and look forward to making a real difference,” Williams said in a press release for the inaugural event on the Looktothestars.org website.
The Serena Williams Foundation is one such project. The foundation promotes education and aides victims of violent crimes. Williams created a scholarship in honor of her oldest sister, Yetunde Price, who was shot and killed in 2003 while riding in an SUV in Compton, Calif. The scholarship covered the supplies of students in the Bethune-Cookman School of Nursing.
Williams has also dabbled in fashion. Her clothing line Aneres was originally launched in 2003, the project never fully took off and appeared to be shelved. But in a recent interview with Hollywood Take, Williams announced that she plans to relaunch the project.
“We’re launching it online,” she said in the interview. “So it’s going to be aneres.com. We’re going to start drwith ready-to-wear and swimsuits…. It’s been a great process, and I’m having a blast with it.”
Williams hinted that the line is set to launch in early spring of next year.
While 2013 has definitely been a big year for Williams, she doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.