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Jul
14

CitySquash News!

CitySquash team member Michelle stops by the office to pick up to-go meals thanks to a new partnership with World Central Kitchen made possible by the Cura Collective

 

 

Celebrating the Class of 2020

 

Nicole celebrates her graduation from SUNY Geneseo 

 

Despite the cancelled graduation ceremonies, CitySquash’s College Class of 2020 had plenty to celebrate as they finished their multi-year CitySquash journeys and became CitySquash Alumni. With our five newest graduates, our Alumni cohort grows to 44. Congratulations to the Class of 2020! 

 

Miguel Betances – Niagara University 
Nicole Cedeno – SUNY Geneseo 
Jose Fernandez – St. Lawrence University 
Elaine Hualoto – Lehman College 
William Pantle – Fordham University 

 

We are also proud of our 12 high school graduates for successfully finishing their high school careers and moving on to college. We wish them the best of luck as they begin their next chapters in the fall! 

 

Karla Domingues – Colby College 
Mikael Garcia – Lehigh University 
Kevin Guadarrama – Borough of Manhattan Community College 
Joan Gutierrez – Borough of Manhattan Community College 
Tita Hicks – St. Lawrence University 
Alexander Lorenzo – Connecticut College 
Brandon Ortega – Borough of Manhattan Community College 
Frankie Pasquariello – Niagara University 
Melanie Pestana – St. Lawrence University 
Yoskart Rodriguez – Borough of Manhattan Community College 
Eslin Silva – Bronx Community College 
Kelsey Tejada – St. Lawrence University 

 

 

Alex Lorenzo named a U.S. Squash High School All-American 

 

Alex during a match with his Mercersburg team this year, where he played in the top spot all season

 

Alexander Lorenzo (Mercersburg Academy ’20) became CitySquash’s first team member to be recognized as a High School All-American by U.S. Squash. Alex joined CitySquash in the 6th grade and won a scholarship to attend the Eaglebrook School before entering Mercersburg as a 10th grader. At Mercersburg, Alex played in the top spot on the ladder and served as a Team Captain both his junior and senior years. We look forward to seeing Alex’s continued success on court as he suits up for the Connecticut College Camels next year!

 

 

Karla Domingues wins SEA Tyler Griffin Student of the Year Award 

 

Karla proudly sports her new Colby t-shirt after gaining early admission there 

 

Recent high school graduate Karla Domingues (Episcopal High School ’20) won the Squash and Education Alliance Tyler Griffin Student of the Year Award at SEA’s annual End-of-Year Ceremony. The award is given to two graduating high school seniors from SEA member programs who embody the overarching values of the SEA network: sportsmanship, effort on court and in the classroom, respect and concern for others, integrity, character and leadership. Karla is CitySquash’s first recipient of this honor and will begin at Colby in the fall. Congratulations, Karla!

 

 

Virtual Summer Camp

 

A group of elementary school team members show off their summer reading book during a camp session 

 

CitySquash’s annual five-week summer camp is underway in a new format: virtually! Team members tune in daily through Zoom and engage in level-specific math and reading lessons, yoga and fitness, extra tutoring and virtual field trips and other activities on Fridays. In the first week of camp, team members mastered seven new math skills on average and read 480 hours collectively in their summer reading books. A benefit to the virtual format is that team members from the Bronx and Brooklyn can participate in camp together, strengthening the ties across CitySquash’s two sites. Another benefit to the virtual world is the ability for team members to take classes across the world! Eight CitySquashers are participating in courses from the African Leadership Academy, based in South Africa. A huge thanks to our volunteers who are dedicating hours of their own summers to helping our team members, and to the Cura Collective and World Central Kitchen, who are making possible weekly deliveries of 100 to-go meals in the Bronx and Brooklyn. 

 

 

New Staff Faces and Positions 

 

L to R: Morgan Solender, Alexandra Boillot, Colin Murfree 

 

CitySquash is excited to welcome a new staff member, Morgan Solender, as Director of Middle School Academics in the Bronx. Morgan recently graduated from Washington University and worked for the past two summers with CitySquash as an Academic Enrichment Intern. Morgan takes over for Colin Murfree, who has become the Bronx Program Director after serving as Director of Middle School Academics and Academic Chair for the past five years. Alexandra Boillot, who has been the Bronx Program Director for the past six years, is stepping into a new position for the organization as Director of Development. 

May
20

Alex Lorenzo Receives High School All-American Honors

 

CitySquash team member Alex Lorenzo was recognized as a 2019-2020 U.S. Squash High School All-American, becoming the first CitySquasher to achieve this honor. One of 44 other high school players to receive this honor for 2019-2020, Alex qualified through his senior season with Mercersburg Academy in the Mid-Atlantic Squash Organization. Alex has played in the top spot on the Mercersburg ladder for the past two years and served as a Captain for both his junior and senior seasons as well. This year, he helped lead his team to a second place finish in Division V at High School Team Nationals. He started playing squash in the 6th grade when he joined CitySquash and quickly fell in love with the sport, attending as many extra practices as possible to improve his game. With CitySquash, he is a two-time Urban National Champion. We look forward to seeing Alex suit up for the Connecticut College Camels next year and realize his goal of becoming a college squash player. Congrats, Alex!

 

Alex with his Mercersburg team after coming in 2nd in Division V at HS Nationals this year!

 

Alex with his CitySquash teammates after winning the High School Boys Division at SEA Team Nationals this year!

Apr
29

CitySquash Launches Virtual Activity Club!

 

Extracurricular clubs have become a staple of CitySquash’s normal programming, and clubs offered have included Art Club, Music Club, Game Club and more. When CitySquash transitioned to virtual programming as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, two of our dedicated mentors, Stephanie & Ali Butera, came up with a plan to continue offering clubs to CitySquash team members virtually! With the help of Ali and Stephanie, mentors to Malika (7th grade) and Stephany (6th grade) respectively, we have been able to add Activity Club to our weekly schedule, and continue to provide team members with a creative outlet during this difficult time. Stephanie & Ali help plan easy, arts-based DIY projects on a weekly basis that require very few materials so all team members can participate at home. Projects have included making fortune-tellers and origami figures. A portion of Activity Club is also dedicated to thanking those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. Students have written thank you letters to workers at City Meals on Wheels who are continuing to deliver food to the elderly, and to doctors and nurses at Jacobi Medical Center. See below for photos from Activity Club and a huge thanks to Stephanie & Ali Butera for making Activity Club possible!

 

Photo Above: Rodrigo tries on his new mask! 

 

Stephanie & Ali Butera enjoy a sweet treat with their mentees, Stephany & Malika, after CitySquash’s Mentor Game Night!

 

Nicole shows off her fortune-tellers!

 

3rd grader, Brianna, focuses while writing a thank you note to a doctor at Jacobi Medical Center!

Apr
09

Caleb Earns US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Honorable Mention!

 

CitySquash team member Caleb Boateng received the US Squash Junior Sportsmanship Honorable Mention Award for the 2019-2020 junior squash season in the BU17 division. Caleb was one of 20 juniors recognized across all divisions for displaying outstanding sportsmanship throughout the season.

 

Caleb joined CitySquash in 2011 as a 3rd grader, and is currently a sophomore at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT. The level of sportsmanship, respect, and love for the sport that Caleb shows at every practice and match has always been an inspiration to his younger teammates. When asked to define good sportsmanship, Caleb shared, “good sportsmanship in any sports is playing the sport. At the end of the day, it’s not about what your opponent does, but it’s you against the ball.” Caleb added, “Sportsmanship is important to me because I know that others watch how everyone acts on court, and my behavior on court reflects not only myself but also my family and CitySquash. It’s important to keep your composure and set a good example for others, especially for younger players.”

 

CitySquash is thrilled to congratulate Caleb and his family on this great accomplishment!

 

Picture above: Caleb on his way to a CitySquash practice at Fordham University

 

Caleb reaches for a shot at the 2019 SEA Team Nationals

Mar
18

CitySquash Hits 110 National Titles!

 

The weekend of March 6th-8th, 70 CitySquash team members traveled to New Haven to compete in the SEA  Team Nationals, held at Yale University and Choate Rosemary Hall. Organized annually by the Squash + Education Alliance, the tournament brings together programs from across the country. After an exciting weekend of match play, the CitySquash team advanced to the 4 out of the 5 championship finals, and ultimately took home 3 championship titles. 

 

Congratulations to our Elementary School Team, our Middle School Boys Team and our High School Boys Team for bringing CitySquash’s tally of SEA National Titles to 110. We are also proud of 8th grade team member, Jasmine Rodriguez, who won the Middle School Academic Contest for her essay on how squash has impacted her life. 

Below are some highlights from the weekend. Thank you to our hosts and everyone for making memories like these possible for our team members! 

 

If you would like to see more photos from CitySquash from SEA Team Nationals, please Click Here

 

Pictured above: The High School Boys Team (L to R) of Yoskart, Alan, Alex, Jesse, and Caleb was all smiles after defeating StreetSquash 4-1 in the Championship Final!

 

CitySquash’s Elementary School Team took home top honors for the second consecutive year. 

 

CitySquash’s boarding school students traveled home to compete in the tournament for the first time! Brianna (Rectory School ’20) and Angelina (Loomis Chaffee ’23) caught up with Bronx teammate Dalia between matches.

 

The winning Middle School Boys Team was coached throughout the weekend by CitySquash alum Will Pante, who will graduate from Fordham University later this spring. 

 

Middle School team member Jasmine with her Academic Contest trophy! 

 

The Middle School Girls’ Finalist Team (L to R) of Ashley, Diana, Ariana, Chasity and Stephany fought hard throughout the weekend!

Mar
16

Middle and High School Team Nationals

Our team members had a busy month of squash in February, training for and competing in Middle School Team Nationals in New Haven, CT and High School Team Nationals in Hartford, CT. Ten players traveled to New Haven to represent CitySquash and partner school, MS 45 at Middle School Teams. Our Middle School Boys Team finished 2nd in Division III and our Middle School Girls Team finished 4th in Division II. Both results were some of our best in recent years at Middle School Teams and we are proud to have had four players who went undefeated throughout the tournament weekend.

 

A total of 31 CitySquash team members competed in High School Nationals just a few weekends later. Fifteen of CitySquash’s boarding school students were in attendance playing for their schools’ varsity teams, and CitySquash had a boys and girls team representing our local partner high school in the Bronx, Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics. Congratulations to Millbrook junior Dainalee who helped her team capture the Division V Title and Mercersburg senior, Alex, and Loomis Chaffee freshman, Angelina, who helped their respective teams finish 2nd in Division V.

 

Congratulations to all of our team members for their effort and sportsmanship throughout these tournaments weekend, and thanks to all who helped make the weekends possible, including our generous tournament hosts!