Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan. She became a professional tennis player in 1995, and her sister, Venus, is also a professional tennis player.
Playing professional tennis has enabled Serena to attain an immense amount of wealth, and her current net worth is $250 million. Here is an overview of exactly how Serena has been able to attain this wealth, as well as what she does for charity.
Serena's Early Years
Serena and her family relocated to Compton, CA when she was just four years old. Shortly after relocating, Serena became interested in learning to play tennis.
She, along with her older sister, Venus, were coached separately by their parents. Serena and her sister were also coached by a man who shared their father's name, Richard Williams. Mr. Williams also founded The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Tutorial Academy.
Serena Begins Playing Professionally
Although Serena's dad wanted her to wait until she was 18 in order to go professional, she began playing professionally at the young age of 14. Her first match was the Bell Challenge in Quebec, where she subsequently lost to an 18-year-old.
At the age of 16, following three losses, Williams won her first match in November of 1997. It was at the Ameritech Cup Chicago, and Serena ranked quite low at the beginning of her career.
Serena Becomes a Top Player
By 1999 - 2001, Serena had worked hard to become one of the top players in professional tennis. In fact, she became a top 10 player, and has even competed in professional matches against her older sister, Venus.
Ever since Williams became a millionaire, she has become a prolific philanthropist. She has many causes that she participates in on a regular basis. She has done so much for charity that she has even won several awards.
One award was The Young Heroes Award for her work with the Boys and Girls Club, in 2003. Serena Williams Charity also brings her great fulfillment, and here are more charities that she supports.
Ronald McDonald House
Serena, alongside her sister, Venus, have participated in various tennis matches in mostly black neighborhoods as a means to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House.
This was such a huge event that an episode appeared on ESPN, publicizing the sisters' tour, as they raised money for this worthy cause.
The Construction of a Kenyan School & More
Through her foundation, known as the Serena Williams Foundation, Williams assisted with the funding of a secondary school in Mantooni, Kenya in 2008.
The Serena Williams Foundation also provided scholarships so underprivileged students could attend college. In 2016, Williams assisted with funding for another school to be built, and this school was called the Salt Marsh Primary School, located in Jamaica.
Masks for Children
During the COVID-19 pandemic, along with BELLA + CANVAS, Serena joined a campaign that ensured that children were able to attend school in person while remaining safe at the same time.
Serena and BELLA + CANVAS donated more than four million face masks for children to attend school during the 2020-2021 school year. A new mask was provided for each student, every day, and this project focused on children from underprivileged areas.
The Yetunde Price Resource Center
Serena Willaims helped to create the Yetunde Price Resource Center, a facility that was developed to honor the life and memory of Yetunde Price.
Yetende Price, who worked as a personal assistant to leading tennis players like Serena, her sister Venus, and more, was murdered in a shooting that occurred in Compton, California.
The purpose of the YPRC is to ensure that anyone whose life is affected by trauma and violence has access to the resources necessary for them to flourish.
The Center offers programs that promote healing for the residents of Compton, CA. It also provides services to families who have been directly impacted by violence, and it is dedicated to providing support, nurturing, healing, and sharing.
Fighting Against Food Insecurity Through Instacart
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of families around the country experienced food insecurity due to lack of adequate funds and resources.
This prompted Serena Williams to take action, as she wanted to prevent as many families as possible from experiencing food insecurity. Along with Instacart, Williams donated more than 50,000 meals to families in need, and she also helped create a campaign, #Give From the Cart Challenge.
This included Williams reaching out to Instagram users and encouraging them to donate to this worthy cause to help feed impoverished families. The campaign was quite a success.
The Purple Purse Project
In 2017, Serena became ambassador for the AllState Foundation's Purple Purse Project. The Purple Purse Project provides financial empowerment to those who have become victims of domestic abuse. The Purple Purse Project has helped domestic abuse victims to gain the independence necessary to prosper, and they will continue to do so.
Additional Organizations that Williams Supports
While this certainly isn't an exhaustive list of charities that Serena Williams supports, here are just some additional organizations that she regularly supports:
Hearts of Gold, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as the Small Steps Project, the Common Ground Foundation, the HollyRod Foundation, Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund, the Eva Longoria Foundation, the World Education Foundation, the Cure for MND Foundation, and the Caliber Foundation.
Why Does Williams Support So Many Charities?
Williams doesn't give to the various charities that she does because she feels obligated to do so because of her financial status. She gives to these charities because she absolutely loves helping those who are less fortunate. While children are certainly one of her favorite groups to give to, Williams provides funds to assist with any cause that she feels is worthwhile.
It is obvious that Serena Williams enjoys donating to charity immensely, and she will undoubtedly continue to give to as many as possible.
While not all millionaires do as much for charity as Serena Williams does, she is always discovering new causes to help those who are less fortunate, whether it's to attend college, overcome a violent situation that has impacted a person's ability to prosper, or just the simple act of eating healthy foods.
Williams is still a young woman at 41, and she will likely continue to earn an impressive salary regardless of what she decides to do in the future.
Even though she is considered to be retired from tennis, who knows what Serena Williams might do next with her life? While she is currently focusing on her family, including raising her young daughter, Serena might return to tennis or decide to do something completely different.
It doesn't matter what she decides to do, chances are she will find a way to continue to donate as generously as she currently does.
You can also read:
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson