Williams Sisters Promote Education

In this Monday, July 27, 2009 photo released by the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Otty Sanchez, 33, is shown. Sanchez is charged with capital murder in the death of her son, Scott Wesley Buccholtz-Sanchez. (AP Photo/Bexar County Sheriff's Office)
AP Photo
The William sisters are well known for their competitive spirit on the tennis court with both women winning numerous Grand Slam titles in their early careers. Serena is ranked No. 1 and Venus is ranked No. 2 in woman's tennis.

In addition, the sisters are just as passionate about helping others become well-rounded individuals and role models. They run or are partners with others in agencies that award numerous grants, scholarships and tutoring.

Last year, Doublemint gum partnered with the professional athletes to award 50 grants to children.

Serena Williams visits The Early Show to award one of the grant recipient an additional $10,000 scholarship through "The Doublemint Aces for Campus Excellence Program."

Natarielle Powell, won the A.C.E. Award for founding Sunshine's Summer Day Camp. Her efforts included helping more than 60 children aged 4-14 from low-income housing areas throughout Savannah, Georgia, to experience a fulfilling and enriching summer, with activities focusing on reading, math, etiquette lessons and foreign language classes.

Powell later founded Sunshine's Shining Stars Mentoring Program, an extension of the camp that provides campers with mentors.

Serena Prepares For U.S. Open

Serena also discusses her preparation for the U.S. Open in New York. The Williams sisters have made the US Open their own in the last three years. Serena won it in 1999 and Venus has won it since then.

Under their father's direction, Venus and Serena began playing on the public courts of Compton, Calif., when they were only 2 (Serena) and 3 (Venus). By the time each reached the age of 10, she was a powerful, right-handed player, ripping through the age brackets in the junior tennis circuit.

In just a few years, the Williams sisters have become the two highest-ranked players in the world on the (women's) WTA Tour. Serena (who turned pro in September of 1995) has held the number one ranking since Wimbledon ended in July. Venus is currently ranked number two in the world, after finishing 2001 at number three.

Fast Facts On Serena Williams

  • Serena was born on Sept. 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Mich.
  • She is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. Serena plays right-handed and has 16 career titles.
  • In June 10, 2002, Serena moved up to the ranking of No. 2 in the world, behind sister Venus — the first time sisters were ranked 1-2.
  • Serena also competes in doubles with her sister Venus. At the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics, they won doubles gold medal with the sisters defeating the Netherlands' Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert 6-1, 6-1.