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Sep
16

6th Annual Lake Placid Team Retreat

 

During the last week of August, CitySquash traveled to Lake Placid for its annual Team Retreat at Camps Monserrat and Holy Child. A total of 122 team members from the Bronx and Brooklyn, alumni, volunteers and staff traveled together, making it our biggest team retreat yet!

 

Participants were divided into 5 teams and spent the week competing in different events as part of the Cabin Color Challenge. Along with the team competitions, all of our team members completed one big day hike in the Adirondack region, participated in team-building activities and had the opportunity to swim. The final campfire where, following tradition, the high school seniors addressed all of their younger teammates and shared their advice and wisdom capped off the retreat.

 

Thank you to all of our supporters for making this possible for our team members and a special thank you to the Reiss Family for enabling this retreat to happen for the past 6 years! 

 

If you would like to see more pictures from Lake Placid, please click here

 

 

 

 

 

Aug
02

Boarder and College Summer Send-Off

 

Last week, CitySquash held it’s annual Boarder and College Student Send-Off. The event brought together outgoing boarding and college students, their families, alumni, staff, and supporters to celebrate our student’s school placements and share advice on the road ahead. We were thrilled to have author Alex Tilney as a special guest, who shared an excerpt from his new novel “The Expectations,” a coming of age tale set at a squash powerhouse New England boarding school. Alumna Criselys Polanco also shared reflections  and valuable lessons from her CitySquash journey. Thank you to Silvia Campo and David Hermer for hosting a wonderful evening. Congratulations to all our students as they take exciting next steps in their academic careers! 

 

 

 

 

Jul
23

2nd Annual CitySquash Serves a Success!

CitySquash team members, family members, staff, and volunteers headed out into the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan for the second annual CitySquash Serves day of community service! Wearing their distinct orange sunglasses, over 100 participants in total rolled up their sleeves across 6 service projects, including delivering meals to home-bound seniors, caring for trees in local parks, cleaning up Orchard Beach, and organizing a food drive for a local food pantry. Afterwords, groups reflected on their projects and impact before coming back together at Crotona Park for a celebration. Many thanks to all of our community partners, including the Bronx is Blooming, Citymeals on Wheels, The New St. John Baptist Church, Partnership for Parks, Van Cortlandt Park, and more.  
 
“It felt good to be out in the neighborhood and help others,” reflected one of our 7th grade team members. “It was a really special day.”  
 
See below for some pictures of our team in action!
 
 
 
 
 
Jul
01

CitySquash Wins 3 More Urban National Titles

 

It was another exhilarating weekend at the Urban Individual National Championships at Amherst and Williams colleges. CitySquash had 68 team members compete across 10 divisions — among 450+ players from 17 national and international  Squash + Education Alliance programs — and came away with three overall titles! Our team also secured two 2nd place, one 3rd place, and two 4th place finishes. CitySquash has now won a record 107 Urban National Titles in its 17-year history!

 

Congratulations to Ashley Amaro (GU11), Lizbeth Barroso (GU15), and Caleb Boateng (BU17) for bringing home division titles. A special thanks goes out to all of our students and dedicated staff for their hard work, along with the Squash + Education Alliance for putting together another great event!

 

 

 

May
15

Spring Tour Explorers

 

From red rocks to coastal lighthouses, wilderness camping to college visits, our annual Spring Tours were a smashing success. For the eighth year in a row, our team members and hardworking staff explored regions beyond the boroughs on 6 unique enrichment trips, visiting a combined 10 different states. For many team members, it was the first time out of the state or on an airplane. Highlighted by museum and cultural site visits, new food and adventures, and yes, even a little squash, the 2019 edition created memories and camaraderie that will last a lifetime.

   
Below are some of our favorite moments from the trips. Special thanks goes to our network of generous hosts and local guides: Silvia Campo and David Hermer, Palmer and Paula Page, Eric Eiteljorg and family from Impact 360, Ben and Lori Matthews, Kathy and Steve Parks, Penn Lunger and family, Suzie Pierrepont, Sarah and Tim Belk, Marcy and Khalil Saliba, the folks at Episcopal High School and St. Andrew’s School (DE), Southampton Youth Services, Steel City Squash, SquashWise, SquashBusters Providence, Kids on Point, and Wild Hope Farm.
 
 
 
Baltimore – Washington D.C. – Philadelphia
 
“I really liked when we baked brownies as a group. It helped me get to know my older teammates on the trip. Now that we are back, I feel like these relationships have gotten stronger.” – Emani, 8th grade
 
 
 
West Virginia – Pittsburgh 
 
“Our trip was phenomenal. We went water rafting, hiking, stargazing, and more. But my favorite part was getting to hang out with my younger teammates. Before the trip, Jayden was just a younger student I did not know very well. After Sping Tour, I’m able to call him a brother.” – Kevin, 11th Grade
 
 
Boston – Providence 
 
“I enjoyed the Spring Tour trip because it was fun and full of joy. Thank you CitySquash for this opportunity! I loved meeting Jordyn’s family and Tina and Giana, the 8th grade leaders on the trip. I loved the aquarium. I will never forget this trip.” – Mireyli, 6th Grade
 
 
Denver, CO – Moab, UT 
 
“Colorado was amazing! We got to see landscapes and stars that we are unable to see from New York City. We went stargazing and we got to learn about constellations” – Joey, 8th Grade
 
 
Long Island East End 
 
“The trip was a spectacular experience because I got to know my teammates better. It felt like we were all sisters by the end” – Stephanie, 5th Grade
 
 
Charleston
 
“The farm was relaxing because we got to spend time in nature. My favorite part was learning to canoe because we got be with friends and try a new experience.” – Merieme, 7th grade
Mar
06

Three More Urban National Titles for CitySquash!

 
This past weekend, CitySquash competed in the Urban Team National Championships at Yale University and Choate Rosemary Hall. Over 550 players from 21 cities came together for the annual event that is put on by the Squash + Education Alliance. In the end, our CitySquash team members made it through to 5 of the 6 championship finals, winning 3 of them.
 
Congratulations to our Elementary Boys, Elementary Girls, and Middle School Boys teams for bringing home the hardware. CitySquash has now won a record 104 Urban National Titles in its 17-year history! More importantly, our team members competed with grit, passion, and sportsmanship all weekend.
 
Below are some highlights from the weekend. Thank you for providing these lifelong memories for our team members.  
 
 
 
 
Feb
20

Squash Update: MS and HS Team Championships

 

The months of January and February were busy for CitySquash coaches and players, capped off by trips to Middle School and High School Team Nationals. At Middle School Nationals, both the boys and girls A teams earned 7th place in their divisions while representing M.S. 45. Highlights included Alexis storming back from an 0-2 deficit in his final match to win and Edward playing what coaches called the “best squash of his life.”

 

At High School Nationals one week later, the girls placed 7th in their division including a nail-biting win over the Hill School. Perla and Jazlyn collected a few 5-game match wins to lead the way. The boys team had a tougher go on the court, but demonstrated grit and tenacity all weekend. Many thanks to our tireless coaches and generous hosts for helping make the trip possible. Up next on the squash calendar: the 2019 Urban Team National Championships at Yale and Choate. 

Jan
15

Class of 2023 Early Decisions

 

6 CitySquash seniors applied early decision to college and in December, all 6 found out they were admitted! Congratulations to our Class of 2023 Early Acceptances:

 

Chris Lucero – Hamilton College

Vanessa Lucero – Franklin & Marshall College

Victoria Haghighi – Bates College

Tanya Mendoza – Connecticut College

Juan Santos – Middlebury College

Xitlali Zuniga – St. Lawrence University 

Oct
10

Chris Fernandez to Lead Dickinson College Squash

 

CitySquash alumnus and Director of Squash Chris Fernandez has been named the new Men’s and Women’s Head Squash Coach of Dickinson College. Fernandez becomes the first urban squash alumnus to lead a varsity college program. “I am truly grateful for such an opportunity and look forward to making urban squash, Dickinson and everyone who’s supported me proud,” Fernandez said. Both of Dickinson’s teams finished in the top-20 in the country last year.

 

Fernandez first stepped onto the squash court in 2004 as part of the second cohort ever to try out for CitySquash. Chris went on to win a scholarship to the Canterbury School in Connecticut and then moved on to St. Lawrence University, where as a senior, he captained the men’s squash team that was a National Championship finalist. For the past three years, he has served as CitySquash’s Director of Squash in the Bronx.

 

Squash + Education Alliance Executive Director Tim Wyant, who was leading CitySquash when Fernandez first joined, is one of many proud mentors excited by the news: “Chris will do an outstanding job at Dickinson. Since the time he joined CitySquash in sixth grade, he has been a trailblazer, pushing the boundaries of what people in our network thought possible: winning one national title after another, being a two-sport college athlete, captaining a team that reached the finals of the college nationals. He has a generous spirit, is ferociously competitive, and is a person of integrity.”

 

Read more about the announcement here. Please join us in thanking Chris for his dedicated coaching and best of luck at the collegiate level!

 

 

 

Sep
12

Hiking, Team-Building, and Fun in Lake Placid!

Over 100 CitySquash team members, alumni, and staff from the Bronx and Brooklyn sites traveled to Lake Placid at the end of August for our annual wilderness retreat. Activities included team-building games, swimming, competing in a multi-day Cabin Color Challenge, and hiking up one of the Adirondack high peaks. The retreat provided CitySquash with a unique opportunity to bring team members of all ages and locations together, allowing for both bonding and reflection as we kickoff another programming year. This was especially on display at the final campfire, when team members got to enjoy s’mores and listen to some of the high school seniors and alumni reflect on their journeys through CitySquash. A big thank you to the Reiss Family for hosting the team in Lake Placid!
 
See below for some picture from the memorable week!