City Squash
Enabling New York City youth to fulfill their academic,
athletic and personal potential.



New Year, New Schools

Over the past few weeks, seven CitySquashers have started their first year at independent day and boarding schools, and six CitySquashers have headed off to their freshman year of college. Since CitySquash’s launch in 2002, 64 CitySquash students have been admitted to selective independent schools, and 56 CitySquashers have been admitted to selective colleges throughout the country. Good luck to these team members as they settle into their new schools!


Independent Schools
Karla Dominguez – Episcopal High School 
Mindy Djindjele – Harlem Academy
Mikey Garcia – Blair Academy 
Vanessa Lucero – Pomfret School
Melanie Pestana – Brooks School
Kesley Tejada – Ethel Walker School
Dainalee Velez – Rectory School


Jeremy Carrasquillo – Connecticut College 
Omar Castelan – Utica College
Cristian Escalona – Hobart & William Smith 
Jose Fernandez – St. Lawrence University 
Bryson Grant – SUNY Buffalo
Karina Lazaro – Hobart & William Smith


Summer Travels

CitySquashers enjoying their trip to Vermont!



When not in the Bronx or Brooklyn, many team members have been off making new friends and exploring new places at different academic, squash, and outdoor camps. This year, CitySquash was able to secure over 100 camp slots for our team members. CitySquashers Tyla McKenzie,Joana Pacheco and Luigi Pasquariello attended the NUSEA Citizenship Tour where they met Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan, along with numerous other government officials and professionals in public service and media. Team members Caleb Boateng and Frankie Pasquariello are spending their last month of summer at Camp Keewaydin in Salisbury, VT for the fourth consecutive year and CitySquash sent a record seven students to Camp Becket and Chimney Corners Camp in Becket, MA. Team member Tanya Mendoza even got to travel to Chile for three weeks with Chimney Corners Camp for a Service and Leadership Program.


Other team members have spent time at camps including Boston Summer Lab, Episcopal High School Biotechnology Experience, Westover School Women in Finance and Exeter Summer School. A few students have even been lucky enough to travel abroad to various squash and academic camps in England, Italy, and Germany. For the first time, eight CitySquash team members traveled up to Middlebury College in July for a week filled with squash, hiking, and swimming with Middlebury Squash Coach, Mark Lewis. In August, six students will return to Martha’s Vineyard for the annual camp there run by the Cerullo Family. Thank you to all who make these amazing experiences for our team members possible!


CitySquash Captures 5 Urban Individual National Titles


Over the weekend of June 17-19, a record of 70 CitySquash team members competed at Urban Individual Nationals at Amherst and Williams Colleges. CitySquash had an incredibly successful tournament – with 9 players competing in the finals of their divisions and 5 ultimately winning national titles. In addition to these championship winners, Alexis Rios won the B division of the BU13 draw. Overall, CitySquash won a title in each age division, capturing more titles than any other urban program. Congratulations to all CitySquash team members who competed over the weekend and thank you to NUSEA and U.S. Squash for organizing a great event.


2016 City Squash Urban National Champions

GU13 – Lizbeth Barroso

BU15 – Jesse Brew

GU17 – Tyla McKenzie

BU17 – Dylan Ram

GU19 – Joana Pacheco


College Students in the Working World

With the help of CitySquash’s Career Placement Program, 13 of our college students were able to land various internships this summer. ABC News, Fresh Direct, The Environmental Defense Fund, and johnnie-O Apparel were among this summer’s employers of our college students. These internships are located all over the US, including New York City, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Texas, and Arizona. Students were also invited to a NUSEA sponsored pre-internship Professionalism Boot Camp where they learned about workplace etiquette and practices, including inter-office communication, dressing for success, and proper email structure. Throughout the year, our Career Mentors supported our team members in this process by helping to write and edit resumes and cover letters, and volunteering for our Mock Interview and Career Fair events. Across the board, our college students have gained a lot of valuable experience with the career process and from their various internships this summer. If you are interested in being a Career Mentor or helping out with CitySquash’s Career Events please email us at


Kingsley Amoako - StreetSquash
Andreina Benedith - Fresh Direct
Andrew Cadienhead - Johnnie-O Apparel
Darrius Campbell - Squash & Beyond  
Fernando Flores - Environmental Defense Fund
Michael Kelly - Bridger Logistics 
Cris Margaret Frias - U.S. Squash
Stacy Maceda - Donors Choose
Mariela Mendoza - Fresh Direct
Santiago Moran - ABC News
Marisela Palafox - Teach For America
Laura Polanco - Lafayette College Department of Biology
Criselys Polanco - Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand


CitySquash goes on Spring Tour


This April, over 50 team members traveled to Florida, Vancouver, Ottawa, Philadelphia, and Long Island as a part of CitySquash’s annual Spring Enrichment Tours! Spending the week holding alligators in the Everglades, hiking along the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver, touring Parliament in Ottawa, and spending a night at the museum in Philadelphia – our team members explored near and far and had a blast! By the end of the week, CitySquash students returned to the Bronx and Brooklyn with valuable memories and stronger connections with their teammates. In total, CitySquash team members have now traveled to 13 countries and 28 states. Thank you to all who make these trips possible.


Please see student reflections detailing their unforgettable experiences below!


Elementary School Trip to Philadelphia:

For the elementary school Spring Tour, the 4th grade class traveled to Philadelphia for 3 days. The first thing we did was visit the Franklin Institute. It is the science museum where science is actually fun! There were games and fun ways to learn about things like gravity, the human heart, and engines. We even slept at the museum next to an exhibit about traveling to the moon. It was exciting to learn about phases of the moon while I was in my sleeping bag.

-Diana Hernandez, 4th grade


Middle School Trip to Florida:

This spring, ten CitySquash middle schoolers piled into the bus and hit the road for all points south! While their epic road odyssey began and ended in the Bronx, it included stops in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.  In just six days they saw almost all of what the east coast has to offer and got to experience quite a bit of it as well with activities like, laser tag, a tour of a former slave plantation, several beach trips, volleyball, basketball, squash with Chucktown Squash, banana boating, exotic food tasting, exploring the Everglades, and even holding an alligator! Happily exhausted they carried many a life-long memory back to the Bronx and on the seventh day, rested.


High School Trip to Ottawa:

We had fun touring Skidmore College and St. Lawrence University. We even got the chance to be hosted by students attending St. Lawrence and it was great to experience college life for a night. The college process is right around the corner for some of us, so these college trips are really helpful in preparing us so that we can get a sense of what college is the right fit for each of us. This spring tour was a very memorable one and I will always be thankful for the educational and fun opportunities CitySquash provides for my friends and me.

-Nicole Lara, 11th grade


CitySquash Brooklyn Trip to Long Island:

Even though going to new places and trying new things were fun, one of my favorite memories was simply playing a group clapping game one night at the house. It was my favorite because the whole team, including the coaches, were sitting in a circle and laughing, talking, and having fun together. It felt like we were really a family even though we are not blood-related. Everyone in CitySquash is like a second family to me, just like the common phrases ‘brother from another mother’ or ‘sister from another mister’. I love all of our experiences together.

-Zoe Liu, 5th grade


Beyond the Boroughs to Vancouver:

The next day we all climbed Grouse Mountain, which was very steep and through forest. It was a tough climb, but we all got to the top, where we saw two bears! There was still a lot of snow on the top and people skiing. After lunch, we took the easy way down in the Gondola. There were great views over Vancouver and the Islands. We then went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which was fantastic. The suspension bridge was 450 meters long and as high as the arm pit of the Statue of Liberty. Thank you, CitySquash!

-Daniel Maldonado, 9th Grade 


Hands-On Learning at CitySquash!

Hands-on, discovery-based learning opportunities have been a focus this year at CitySquash through our Elementary School Activity Club and our Middle School Wilderness Club.
In Activity Club, CitySquash’s elementary school students were in for a special treat one recent Friday afternoon – using toothpicks and tweezers as their tools, the young students dissected owl pellets! Working in groups of three, the excited team members dug through the regurgitated meals of owls, discovering bones and hairballs as they sifted through the pellets. The owl pellet dissection in Activity Club is one of the many opportunities for CitySquash’s elementary school students to experience hands-on, discovery-based learning. The students loved discovering the various pieces inside the pellet, from the jaw to vertebrae to skull of a mouse.

Likewise, CitySquash’s middle school students have been thrown outside of their comfort zones through Wilderness Club. New to CitySquash this year, students have grappled with the basics of survival, first-aid, and cooking through project based learning. They began the semester by making shelters and campfires, and this May, the students will be putting their new skills to the test by taking two weekend camping trips! Each trip is meant to provide a different set of challenges, like assembling a tent in the dark, that the students will tackle using the skills they learned in class. Our students can’t wait to hit the wilderness!


Chris Fernandez featured in St. Lawrence University Magazine


This Spring, Chris Fernandez, CitySquash alum and current Director of Squash, was featured in an article entitled “City to College to City” in the Spring 2016 edition of the St. Lawrence University Magazine.  The article chronicles Chris’s journey to and from the Bronx and his ultimate goal of giving back to the organization that he loves. Read about Chris’s journey to the Bronx and beyond by clicking here: St. Lawrence University Magazine.


CitySquash Gets Ready for Spring Tour

During the last week of April, CitySquash coaches and academic staff will be taking team members on squash and enrichment trips near and far. We’ll be hitting the road and travelling both north and south, east and west – team members will visit Canada, Florida, and both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans! Elementary students will spend a ‘Night at the Museum’ in Philadelphia, while middle schoolers help clean up the Everglades. Between visiting southern plantations, cheering on NYCFC at Yankee Stadium, and exploring the Canadian wilderness, our team members are sure to have a spring break worth remembering!


CitySquash gives back at Project Sunshine Service Day



On Saturday, March 19th, 99 team members from third through eighth grade gathered at Fordham University for the annual Project Sunshine community service day. Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that provides cards and craft kits for children in hospitals. The CitySquash team, which included mentors, staff, and volunteers, was provided with the materials, and students made SunnyGrams and personalized journals with encouraging messages, silly jokes, and their own artwork. CitySquashers enjoyed the opportunity for a creative outlet, as well as a lesson in the importance of giving back to the community through service. If you’d like to learn more about Project Sunshine, please visit


CitySquash Celebrates Six Boarding School Acceptances



March has been an exciting month for us in the Bronx as we learned that all six of our CitySquashers who applied to private high school this year have been admitted! Below is the list of the team members and their school acceptances. It will be the first time that we will be sending team members to Pomfret, Ethel Walker, and the Rectory School. Come the fall, CitySquash will have sent 63 team members off to private high schools. Congratulations to these lucky team members and thank you to all of our supporters for making it all possible.


Karla Dominguez

Episcopal High School

Mikey Garcia

Blair Academy

Vanessa Lucero

Pomfret School

Melanie Pestana

Brooks School

Kelsey Tejada

Ethel Walker School

Dainalee Velez

Rectory School