When a friend’s accident made her more aware of the challenges faced by people with special needs, Jessica Weyreuter didn’t just wonder how she could help, she drew on her tennis expertise and her belief in the positive power of sports to create Dream Court.
Are you from Montgomery? I was born in Germany, grew up in Argentina, and came to the USA on a tennis scholarship at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky. I moved to Montgomery to pursue my master’s degree in International Relations through the Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Graduate Fellowship at AUM.
Share a bit about your tennis background. As I started playing the state, national and international junior tournaments, my parents would drive me to the capital city of my state, two hours one way, twice a week to get better coaching. In high school, I pursued a career as a professional tennis player, which ended five years after, when I decided to continue my education.
When did you found Dream Court and why? Dream Court was a vision that came in 2013 after a combination of events. I developed a special interest for social and economic development, which led me to start a sport consulting company to improve people’s lives with the power of sports. Also, a friend of mine suffered an accident and became quadriplegic. This opened my eyes to people with special needs. After some research, I learned that there was a need to be filled.
What is the mission of Dream Court? Dream Court is a nonprofit, and its mission is to provide an adaptive tennis program for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, striving for inclusion and acceptance. Dream Court is more than tennis. Dream Court is a big family; it is a part of the community, and the community is a part of it.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work with Dream Court? I personally find it very rewarding playing a small role in bringing out the best in others, helping them to see their own potential, and reminding them of their own value. Also, witnessing the community coming together and seeing the positive transformation in the lives of athletes and volunteers is what fills me the most.
Since starting, Dream Court has served more than 200 athletes with special needs who come from Montgomery, Prattville, Wetumpka, Pike Road, Auburn and Birmingham. In 2019, Dream Court was selected to put on a demonstration on the Arthur Ashe stadium at the 2019 U.S. Open in New York City and the program was selected as the United States Tennis Alabama’s 2020 Community Tennis Association.
@DreamCourt on Facebook