His tennis career was one of the most celebrated and respected in the game, but these days Andre Agassi is leaving a legacy off of the tennis court. Gayle talks with Andre about his two efforts that are helping at-risk kids in Las Vegas, The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation and the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy.
Andre says that when he retired from tennis in 2006 he was already taking his career in a new direction and at-risk kids were the focus. "I knew that it was just time for me to use tennis for a platform to really impact people's lives. Not for two hours on the tennis court, but hopefully some life-changing stuff," he says. In 1994 he started his charitable foundation, providing recreational and educational opportunities for boys and girls in Las Vegas. In 2001 he opened a public charter school in Las Vegas. "I put the school in the most economically challenged area of Las Vegas," he says. "The thing that I find fascinating is when you give resources to children that society has written off, they prove what the human spirit is capable of."
In 2009 the first graduating class will leave the K–12 academy, and Andre says he expects all the students to go on to college. "I care about children—and where you live and what color you are could be here, could be there—the important thing is that every child has an opportunity to dream and to reach for these dreams," he says. "Education is the best way to affect a child's life because you give them the tools."
Published on September 07, 2007