After 11 years, CitySquash’s Executive Director prepares to step down and Terence Li will assume leadership of CitySquash. Below is the letter that Tim sent to supporters in October.
Eleven years ago last month, on a bright Saturday morning, CitySquash held its first tryout at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. The expressions of excitement on the faces of the Middle School 45 sixth graders that day were inspiring, and in many ways captured the enthusiasm that I felt about the opportunity I had been given to help launch the organization. I did not know how long I would work for CitySquash, but I believed in the mission and knew that we could make a difference.
I write today to let you know that this will be my last year with CitySquash. In 2012 I took on a part-time position as the Executive Director of the National Urban Squash + Education Association, the umbrella organization for the country’s 15 accredited urban squash and education programs, and I will make a full-time commitment to NUSEA beginning next summer. I look forward to drawing on the lessons I’ve learned in the Bronx to support urban squash across the country and beyond.
When I step down, CitySquash will be in the capable hands of Terence Li, who returned to CitySquash last year as our Program Director. Terence previously worked at CitySquash from 2005 to 2007 as our Assistant Program Director, and we began recruiting him to come back the moment he left for graduate school. For the past year, Terence and I have worked side by side, leading CitySquash together, and he has done an exceptional job. He has the character, skills, and drive needed to take CitySquash to greater heights, and he will do just that. We are very fortunate that he will be our next Executive Director.
CitySquash has wonderful partners and a loyal community of supporters, and it is because of you that the organization’s future is promising. We are also fortunate to have the steadfast support of our Founder and Chair, Sanford Schwartz, our Board President, Kim Huchro, and the 13 others who serve on our Board of Directors. I will remain a Board member, and over the next eight months will work with Terence and the Board to develop a long-range strategic plan that will enable CitySquash to expand enrollment and strengthen the organization.
In May I attended the Wesleyan University commencement and watched Tanesha Jackson, one of the sixth graders who made the team in 2002, become the first member of her family to graduate from college. I sat in the audience with her mother, other members of her family, and a group from CitySquash that included current and former staff, a longtime volunteer, a Board member, and Tanesha’s mentor, who had traveled to the occasion from California. It was a special day, a reminder of how far Tanesha has come and of the role CitySquash has had in her life. It made me think of what our students often say: that CitySquash is like a family.
CitySquash will continue to make a difference long after I’ve moved on, but working here over the past 11 years has been a singular privilege. I am grateful to have had the chance to work with you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting our students.