Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
January 29, 2000 - Issue 02
Student Excels on the Tennis Court
Adapted by Vicki Lockard from an article at Cherokee.org
| At 16, Wahlesah Dick of Tahlequah has accomplished much already on the tennis
court and in her community.
She is one
of few Native Americans playing tennis on a competitive level. A high school junior, she participates in the Oklahoma
District Tennis Association, the Missouri Valley Tennis Association (both sanctioned by the United States Tennis
Association), and played in the number one singles position this past season for the Tahlequah High School Lady
Tigers tennis team.
set many goals for herself beginning at an early age," her father James McIntosh said. "She began actively
playing tennis when she was nine years old."
Dick has actually
been playing tennis since she was three, McIntosh said. She began by hitting tennis balls on the sidewalk, after
he gave her a racquet.
returned from Overland Park, Kan., after advancing to the pre-qualifier of the Missouri Valley Tennis Association,
which is made up of players from five states. Dick was one of five players from Oklahoma to be invited to play
in the pre-qualifier. She has played in 25 tournaments this year, and she said she has done well in most of them.
to someday visit Indian reservations to give tennis lessons to children. She also hopes to attend a major college
to study Indian law and work as an attorney.
She said she
became interested in law while reading her mother's Indian law books when she was younger.
day she hopes to be in court as a lawyer while still enjoying playing tennis on the court," McIntosh said.
She was recently
asked to make a presentation at the National Indian Education Association meeting in Oklahoma City. She said she
spoke about living a positive life, the power of one person to make a difference and the need for students to be
Dick is an
advocate of community service learning and encourages other Indian students to serve the community. She works with
various groups in Tahlequah that serve the community.
of Native American kids don't know what service learning can do for them," Dick said. "Service learning
helps you learn so much, and you can help solve problems in the community that no one else is going to do anything
She has received the Robert F. Kennedy award for community
service, and was chosen in 1996, as a reward for her community service, to carry the Olympic torch as it was carried
across the country. At 13, she was one of the youngest people chosen for the honor.
a place on her school's honor roll last year, and her high school tennis team has been Academic State Champions
the last two years. She is a member of the Native Reflections Service and Heritage Club, the National Honor Society
and Future Teachers of America. Her mother is Georgia Dick of Tahlequah.
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