Retired Tennis Legend Andrea Jaeger Keeps Winning With Little Star Foundation

Andrea Jaeger

August 20, 2021

Retired Tennis Legend Andrea Jaeger Keeps Winning With Little Star Foundation

Excelling as an athlete takes tremendous commitment. For Andrea Jaeger, she has devoted even more time, energy, and effort to her passions off the court.

After retiring from professional tennis in 1985, Andrea Jaeger began a new career of philanthropy and service. Her work led to the creation of the Little Star Foundation. Now going into its 36th year, this organization is perhaps her greatest achievement.

And this is a bold statement considering her incredible success on the court. At age 15, Andrea Jaeger set a then-record as the youngest ever to be seeded at Wimbledon. Within a year, she had climbed to the No. 2-ranked woman in the world. She would go to reach the finals or semifinals at least once in every Grand Slam. In 1981, the tennis superstar won a mixed doubles championship at the French Open. Today, she still competes in the Champions Tour Legends tournaments. Here, she picks up a racquet only for a good cause, donating all her prize money to charity.

This has always been her true calling. Even as a young phenom, she wanted to reach others and help those in need. She felt tennis alone was unfulfilling. She could do more. That’s why she founded the Little Star Foundation.

The Little Star Foundation has a simple mission. The nonprofit is dedicated to improving the lives of children who are ill or in need. With a global reach, the organization helps children by working in schools, hospitals, orphanages, and local communities. The Little Star Foundation encourages its participants to “endure just one more day” in the face of extreme adversity. Their programs support this by providing education, medical care, therapeutic services, and financial assistance. To minimize suffering, Little Star Foundation offers award-winning Sports, Arts, and Educational Therapy programs free for its families. These activities seek to boost a child’s physical and emotional health. In addition to funding treatments, Andrea Jaeger’s Little Star Foundation also grants scholarships for children with cancer who have been accepted to college.

The Little Star Foundation website is full of testimonials from those who have benefited most from this life-changing mission. However, this work hasn’t gone unnoticed by others as well. Andrea Jaeger was the first female recipient of the Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award, given to those who exhibit a “concern for mankind” with grace, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity. She has also been invited to the White House by three different Presidents to celebrate her work. A particular highlight was when Nelson Mandela visited to congratulate her for all her contributions.

While there are countless other achievements, Andrea Jaeger will be the first to tell anyone that her work is bigger than plagues or medals. She encourages more donations and greater advocacy by being an inspiration to other athletes wishing to enact change.