Friends of CitySquash,
CitySquash team members meditate at the beginning and end of every practice and academic session. They participate in a social and emotional learning program, spend an increased amount of time in the outdoors, learn yoga, and take art and music classes. They eat healthy food, and they have opportunities to exercise before school, after school, and on almost every weekend and holiday. Our offices are open late and provide safe places where they can get help with homework and spend time with friends. We work tirelessly to create an environment where our students feel safe and supported in all areas of life.
One of the reasons we do this is because children who grow up in poverty experience significantly more stress than children who grow up in middle class or affluent families. That stress can have a lasting impact on their health as well as on their academic performance. In order for CitySquash to help our students succeed, we must help them manage stress, and we believe that the depth of our program does just that.
We also hope that our outstanding alumni can provide our current students with confidence and direction. Now, in our 15th year, CitySquashers can meet successful young adults, who were once just like them, and who stuck with our program and defied the statistics that say they are more likely to drop out of school or be forced back into the cycle of poverty than to succeed. Some of the amazing examples are:
Jose Alvarez (Canterbury School ’09, Hobart & William Smith Colleges ’13), who received his Master’s Degree in Education this fall and is a Math Teacher at Harlem Children’s Zone.
Manuela Perez (Blair Academy ’12, Barnard College ’16), who was recognized as a Richard B. Fisher Scholar by Morgan Stanley and is now a full-time Analyst at the firm.
Myriam Kelly (Westover School ’11, Bates College ’15), who provides support for international students and parents as the Global Programs Associate at Westover School.
There are many, many more. Each CitySquash alumnus and team member has his or her own story, but together they paint a picture of a program that is working. As we enter our 15th year, 98% of our high school graduates go on to college, and all of our college students have graduated within six years. Our college graduates are employed and leading successful and independent lives in different cities and countries. We are incredibly proud of them—thank you for making all of this possible.
We wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season!