TRENTON - Michelle Gbelama passed up on a Wall Street position to return to the tennis program that gave her the chance of a lifetime.

After turning down a job with Prudential Financial in New York City, Gbelama is now the program director of the National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton.

Gbelama says she first started playing after meeting Dan Faber, NJTL's previous executive director, who handed her a tennis racquet and thought she was talented.

After playing tennis for two years at Trenton High School, the Liberian native earned a scholarship to Drew University. She attributes the success partly to lessons learned while at the NJTL, including communication skills and leadership.

Gbelama says she used the program as a getaway to deal with the loss of her father, and hopes others can find a similar purpose there.

She also says her working there is her way of giving back to the organization, and the 2,500 kids who use its courts.