About 2018-01-24T03:19:07+00:00





About DGA

DGA is a free, year round program serving 50 select students, ages 8-18, since 2006. Our mission is to improve the lives of promising, selected students in Danbury emphasizing education, character, tennis, and health. We provide our students with a disciplined and nurturing environment for mentoring, promoting healthy lifestyles, and building self-esteem.  The program operates at our 2,500 square foot Main Street center and on Danbury’s public tennis courts at Rogers Park. During the winter our highest achieving participants also qualify to play indoor tennis two to three days a week. We have two full time employees, Lauren Dalton (Executive Director) and Lynn Radford (Academic Director), and one part time summer tennis professional. In addition, we have the support of over 40 active, year-round volunteer tutors and tennis pros comprised of National Honor Society students from local high schools, former teachers, WCSU students, and local residents.

We have four primary goals: To stress the critical importance of education; provide the tools necessary to develop character; teach the basics of tennis; and emphasize the value of nutrition and exercise. Specific and long term objectives are to improve report card grades, DRA reading levels, high school graduation rates and establish career paths or college education.

A successful DGA participant will evolve over time to develop skills that demonstrate a strong work ethic. Students will learn to become personally responsible in all areas of their lives, but with a strong focus on their academics. Students will learn to value education, take pride in their academic work and demonstrate a persistence to achieve excellence.  In addition, students will develop healthy interpersonal relationships that demonstrate good character traits such as integrity, respect, citizenship and caring for others. A DGA participant will embed wellness into their lives and recognize that good nutrition, exercise and fitness will help to make them happy and healthy.

Community Partners


Lauren Dalton
Lauren DaltonExecutive Director
Lauren has been involved with DGA since its inception in 2006. She has connections throughout local and regional tennis communities and her responsibilities include on court teaching, tutoring and mentoring students, coordinating with the Danbury Public Schools and community partners, and managing, growing, developing, and maintaining community relations. She is also responsible for marketing, accounting, administration, fundraising, grant writing, and corresponding with donors and potential donors. Lauren has been playing tennis all her life and has been teaching tennis for over many years. She competed at Ridgefield High School where she was State Open Champion, played Division I tennis at James Madison University, and has been regionally and nationally ranked.
Lynn Radford
Lynn RadfordDirector of Education
Lynn is a former teacher and began as a volunteer in 2009. She plays an integral role at DGA. Lynn is the liaison between DGA and schools, teachers, counselors, etc. and communicates with them daily. Lynn attends all Parent Teacher conferences, does bi -weekly check of online grade portals with all students, coordinates volunteers, and organizes one on one meetings with parents. Lynn has developed a nutrition and cooking program utilizing our kitchen facility and makes a variety of healthy after school snacks daily. Lynn works with Lauren on educational development including report cards, goal setting and evaluations, summer curriculum, and follow up on college and career guidance and planning.
Michael Boucher
Michael BoucherDirector of Tennis
Mike is a high school guidance counselor at Danbury High School. He has been running the summer tennis program at DGA since 2014. Mike organizes practices, workouts and fitness sessions, drills, and match play against local clubs and other programs. Michael also plans and coordinates the program end of summer tournament and grooms our participants for high school tennis competition. He is also an invaluable resource to the challenges and problems our students encounter. Michael is critical to our effectiveness in growing tennis and changing our participant’s lives.
Joe Higgins
Joe HigginsSupervisor of Student Development

We would like to welcome Joe to the DGA team! He brings an education background and a lifetime of working with kids of all ages. Joe has been working with our students for over 2 months, and will support the success of DGA’s overall mission by acting as a liaison between Lauren, Lynn and the students. In addition, Joe has been invaluable in assisting with many time consuming activities and individual needs of our more challenged students. He has also helped us expand services for students and families and will help us be able to take more students in! Joe has been focusing intensely on helping our elementary and middle school students master their multiplication facts and he has already taken our students on 3 field trips: The Flying Club in Southbury, The Danbury Ice Arena for some ice skating lessons, and the Hickories Farm.

 Joe is a natural with kids and adults and a role model and positive presence for both males and females. He is high energy, has great ideas, and a no nonsense attitude, no excuses mentality, who expects effort and results, not perfection.  We are all very happy and lucky to have Joe be a part of DGA!

Board Members

Carl Bailey

Walter Beatty
Vice President

Michael Smith

Lauren Dalton
Executive Director

Lynn Radford
Academics Director

Sandra Atanasoff
Dr. Nick Bogannam
Kathleen Brown
Georgia Carrington
Lisa Donovan
Arthur Goldblatt

Pam Higgins
Robert Lapple
Robert Mercorella
Greg Moran
Steve Owens

Dr. David Pazer
Cathy Perry
Liz Preville
Becky Strominger
Charles Valenzuela