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Serena Williams behaving like a grown-up as she turns 30

September 26, 2011 |  9:08 am


Serena Williams turns 30 Monday. Although she recently received plenty of attention for her childish behavior during the U.S. Open final, Williams will have a chance to show her grown-up side in her new role as international goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

The organization announced the appointment last week, saying Williams' status will help promote UNICEF's mission to provide a quality education for vulnerable children through the Schools for Africa and the upcoming Schools for Asia initiatives.

Williams said the new role would give her an opportunity to work on children's issues, which have always been important to her.

"I believe all children deserve the chance to make something of their lives," said Williams, who started playing tennis at age 4 while living with her family in Compton. "I am committed to helping UNICEF provide a quality education to children to help them build a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities."

Williams joins a list of UNICEF ambassadors from the past and present that includes soccer star David Beckham and figure skater Kim Yuna. The 13-time Grand Slam winner first worked with UNICEF in 2006, when she visited Ghana on a health campaign.


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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Serena Williams. Credit: Geoff Robins / AFP/Getty Images