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



Chess Club Launched


CitySquashers learning from George Ughetta in Chess Club



To further our “healthy bodies & healthy minds” philosophy, CitySquash recently launched a Chess Club for our middle school team members. Over 30 CitySquashers were introduced to the basics of the game through a six week workshop this winter. Since then, students who have shown particular interest have been able to learn more advanced strategies through private lessons with experienced chess player and CitySquash volunteer, George Ughetta. It has been wonderful to provide students with a different medium through which they can develop problem solving skills. Some CitySquashers are now even preparing for a City-Wide Chess tournament this spring. Squash and chess have often drawn comparisons as being games for “thinkers.” If that is the case, look for some new CitySquash accolades on the horizon!


CitySquashers Well-Represented at College Nationals

Andrew and Darrius at CSA Nationals



Several CitySquashers were in action at this year’s CSA National Team Championships, which were held over the weekend of February 17th at Harvard University. CitySquash is proud to recognize four seniors who capped off their college squash careers: Andrew Cadienhead (Middlebury College), Kingsley Amoako (St. Lawrence University), Felipe Pantle (Hobart & William Smith), and Darrius Campbell (Bates College). Andrew Cadienhead holds All-NESCAC honors and led the Middlebury team as a top player and captain. Kingsley Amoako spent four years with St. Lawrence, a perennial top-five nationally ranked team. Felipe Pantle played in the #1 or #2 positions in each of his 85 collegiate matches with the Statesmen, and also captained his team his senior year. Darrius Campbell won two-thirds of his collegiate matches for Bates, and capped of his career by being named to the All-NESCAC First Team. Congratulations to all of our college players who competed this season!



Three More Urban National Titles


Tita in action at Urban Team Nationals


Over 500 urban squash players from across the country recently gathered in Philadelphia for the 14th Annual Urban Team National Championships. CitySquash brought a contingent of 70 Bronx and Brooklyn players who spent the weekend giving it their all on the courts at the SquashSmarts Lenfest Center, University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University. CitySquash had an impressive run at the tournament by making it into five of the eight division finals. In the end, CitySquash came away with three titles, highlighted by our Brooklyn team members winning their first Urban National Title in the BU13 division. Our GU13 and BU15 teams were also victorious. CitySquash’s tally of Urban National squash titles now stand at a record 89. Congratulations to CitySquash’s winning teams and to all who participated!


2017 CitySquash Urban National Team Champions

U13 Boys Team – Jaiden Sosa, Randy Guzman, Dominik Budny, Jesus Fierro, Pablo Paxtor

U13 Girls Team – Lizbeth Barroso, Brianna Lucero, Madalein Amoako, Mindy Djindjele, Sachary Rodriguez

U15 Boys Team – Jesse Brew, Yoskart Rodriquez, Caleb Boateng, Maury Escalona, Seth Canales


Brooklyn CitySquashers win first-ever Urban National Title



Seventy CitySquash team members from the Bronx and Brooklyn travelled to Philadelphia over the Martin Luther King Day Weekend for the 14th Urban Team Nationals hosted by the National Urban Squash and Education Association. CitySquash’s teams, ranging from the U13 to the U19 divisions, competed at SquashSmart’s  Lenfest Center, the Ringe Squash Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Kline & Specter Squash Center at Drexel University.  The NUSEA sponsored tournament brought together 19 NUSEA programs. CitySquash had an impressive run at the tournament by making it into 5 of the 8 division finals. In the end, CitySquash’s Brooklyn BU13, Bronx GU13 and Bronx BU15 teams came away with National Urban Squash Championship titles. This was the first ever Urban National Championship for our Brooklyn CitySquashers. Team members had a fantastic time at the tournament and played excellent squash. Thank you to NUSEA for running an exceptional event and to our amazing hosts for housing our team over the weekend. Congratulations to CitySquash’s winning teams and to all who participated!


Happy Holidays!

 December 2016


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!



Terence Li  

Executive Director


Inaugural Battle of Brooklyn a Success!

Team Washington wins the squash title!



On Sunday, November 20th CitySquash hosted the inaugural Battle of Brooklyn to raise awareness and funds for CitySquash’s Brooklyn program. The event was held at CitySquash Brooklyn’s home base at the Poly Prep Country Day School’s Novogratz Center for Athletics.


Six teamed suited up for battle— The Kills! captained by Silvia Campo & David Hermer, Team Boast & Brag captained by Jean & Lark Ervasti, Brooklyn Beasts captained by Mike Gantcher, Brooklyn Gourds captained by Zerline Goodman, Team Orange captained by Peter Kelly, and Team Washington captained by Laura Trevelyan & Toby Goldston. Collectively, more than $30,000 was raised to support increasing the program’s enrollment and services. CitySquash will have 48 Brooklyn team members this year.


In the end, Team Washington defeated Team Orange in the championship final to take first place in the squash competition, and the Brooklyn Beasts came away with the fundraising title. To cap-off the day, CitySquash alum Chris Fernandez and current 5th grade team member, Amaya Diggs, gave memorable speeches illustrating the power of the CitySquash in their lives.


Thank you for supporting CitySquash in the first annual Battle of Brooklyn! Because of you, CitySquash is able to continue to change the lives of the students we serve. To get more involved with CitySquash’s Brooklyn program, please email us at






Team Members Recongnized at Racquet Ceremony


On December 18th, CitySquash’s fourth grade class was recognized at the second annual Racquet Ceremony for spending over 100 hours on court since joining the program. The ceremony was a culmination of their hard work on court since last December. As a reward, each team member earned their very own squash racquet, shoes, and goggles. Parents, siblings, and CitySquash staff members were in attendance to celebrate the students’ accomplishment. Each student was individually recognized with a short commendation highlighting their contributions to the team on and off the court. Congratulations to our 11 team members who reached this exciting milestone!


Racquet Ceremony Recipients

Emmanuella Bentil

Ali Darabuilwi

Alicia Herrera

Yordi Lucero

Noami Marte

Allison Martinez

Ariana Michaca

Elias Ortega

Gerardo Ortiz

Tania Torres

Giovanni Zamboli


Record Marathon for CitySquash



On Sunday, 13 runners completed the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon as part of CitySquash’s Marathon Team. Our runners spent months training to run the 26.2 miles while simultaneously fundraising for CitySquash. In total, the group has raised over $50,000 for CitySquash – a record for the organization. On race day, CitySquash team members traveled to mile 21 in the Bronx to support our runners. Seventh grader Justin and tenth grader Sh-Kyrah got the chance to cheer on their mentors, and all of the team members were excited to give high-fives to the CitySquash Team! 


Congratulations to all of our runners: John Beam, Kathryn Brummer, Alexandra Boillot, David Castellani, Caroline Castellani, Amanda Chen, Omar Corona, Jessica Davis, Catherine Fowler, Joseph Hughes, Peter Kelly, Terence Li, and Keech Turner!  Thank you for your hard work on behalf of CitySquash and thank you to all who supported the 2016 CitySquash Marathon Team!


Lake Placid 2016

Brianna, Dalia, Eslin, and Lizbeth in Lake Placid


Over 100 CitySquashers from the Bronx and Brooklyn embarked on CitySquash’s annual team retreat in Lake Placid over the week of August 25th.Team members spent the week hiking, swimming, and competing in field  games in the CitySquash Cabin Cup Challenge. Team members summitted five  different peaks in the Adirondacks-Ampersand, McKenzie, Whiteface,  Cascade, and Haystack . In addition to the hiking, swimming and camp competitions, the experience was a wonderful way for team members from both programs to forge friendships. The retreat focused on team-building and self-reflection to help in preparing for the full season ahead. On the last night of the trip, team members had the opportunity to hear CitySquash college students and alumni reflect on their experiences with CitySquash. A big thank you to the Reiss Family who graciously hosted the entire team! 


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