City Squash
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Blog

Jul
01

A School Year to Remember

Twin sisters Genesis and Nicole graduated from Mt. Holyoke together, wrapping up a cumulative 22 years with CitySquash!

 

Hats off to the Class of 2021!

 

Despite a year unlike any other, our Class of 2021 wrapped up their college careers successfully and graduated in both virtual and in-person ceremonies. Congratulations to our five graduates, all of whom are first-generation college graduates! 

 

CLASS OF 2021

Nicole Lara Granados – Mt. Holyoke College 

Genesis Lara Granados – Mt. Holyoke College 

Alexandra Limas – St. Lawrence University 

Mariela Mendoza – Bowdoin College 

Bianca Troche – St. Lawrence University 

 

 

It’s Never Quiet on the Placement Front 

 

As another school year comes to a close, we are thrilled to celebrate the many acceptances our college seniors and those applying to private schools received. All eight of our graduating seniors are headed to four-year colleges next year and three of them will continue their squash careers and suit up for their school’s varsity teams. Another seven students gained acceptance to private high schools, bringing CitySquash’s total of successful school placements to 105. Congratulations to all and we can’t wait tto follow you through your next chapters! 

 

COLLEGE PLACEMENT 

Elizabeth Barroso – Colby College 

Anthony Cruz – SUNY New Paltz

Roberto Cruz – SUNY Oswego 

Fatima Hernandez – Lehman College

Dalia Hipolito – Siena College 

Alan Lopez – Colby College 

Xitlaly Santos – Lehman College

Dainalee Velez – Bates College 

 

PRIVATE SCHOOL PLACEMENT

Ashanti Amastal – Loomis Chaffee School 

Jesus Fierro – Trinity-Pawling School

Randy Guzman – Berkshire School

David Paxtor – White Mountain School

Pablo Paxtor – Tabor Academy

Aaliyah Sampson – Kent School

James Vasquez – Indian Mountain School

 

Fatima celebrates her graduation from Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics.

 

Year-End Awards & Leadership Positions

 

Dainalee Velez was awarded the inaugural Casertano Cup at the Millbrook School Commencement ceremony. A special Commencement prize, the Caserano Cup is given for growth and perseverance in pursuit of the best self and the common good. 

 

Giselle Ciriaco was voted Student Body President at Suffield Academy for the 2021-2022 school year. A rising senior at Suffield, Giselle has served as Class President for the past two years. Giselle says she is “honored and excited to represent the Suffield student body” and wants to “focus on mental health awareness and being united.”

Jun
28

Virtual CitySquash Reads!

This year’s CitySquash Reads was based on Jonah Winters’s book “Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx”. The event was held on June 3rd virtually, and team members from the Bronx and Brooklyn came together to discuss the book and engage in activities based off the book including jeopardy, crossword puzzles and a poem writing session.  Luke, an 8th grade team member, said his favorite activity was “the jeopardy game because that’s when we got to go against each other to see who knows the book better” while Samantha, another 8th grader, said “my favorite part of CitySquash reads was being able to interact with our friends in various ways!

 

Thank you to all who participated and helped make the event a success.

 

Team members gathered on Zoom to discuss Jonah Winter’s book “Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx.” 
Team members’ knowledge of the book was put to test in jeopardy!  
Jun
08

Mentors and Mentees Connect through Baking Club!

Starting this winter, as part of our Mentor Game Night series, a Baking Club for mentors and mentees was started. Mentors and mentees learned new recipes and fun facts about baking, such as the different kinds of flours and the difference between light and dark brown sugars. Team members received the ingredients they needed for each recipe so anyone could join to participate in the baking. Some of the favorite recipes we did were Ginger Bread Cookies, Oatmeal Raisins Cookies, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Our most challenging recipe was Fudge Brownies. Thank you to all of the mentors who joined us. We had a great time connecting with you and your mentees while learning to bake together!

 

Photo above: Mentors & mentees showing off their end product! Top Row (L to R): David (mentor to Jesus), Alex (mentor to Chasity), Chasity. Middle Row (L to R): Jesus, Henry (mentor to Janthony), Janthony


 

Photo above: Jesus, Janthony, and Keisi

 

Apr
26

Three CitySquash College Students Named College Squash Scholar Athletes!

Three CitySquash team members were recognized as College Squash Association (CSA) Scholar Athletes for the 2020-2021 season (see list below). The Scholar-Athlete Award is given to varsity juniors or seniors who have earned at least two varsity letters, achieved a high academic standing with a GPA of 3.5 or above and would have been eligible to compete this season. Congratulations to Genesis, Nicole & Luigi for this achievement and their hard work throughout the school year! 

 

Genesis Lara Granados
Mount Holyoke College ’21
Nicole Lara Granados
Mount Holyoke College ‘21
Luigi Pasquariello
Connecticut College ’21

 

Photo Above: (L to R) Luigi Pasquariello, Genesis Lara Granados & Nicole Lara Granados

Apr
06

Another Round of School Acceptances!

 

Another seven team members gained acceptances to private schools for the 2021-2022 school year. With these acceptances, CitySquash has had 105 successful school placements to selective independent schools since our founding. We are proud of the hard work this group put into their applications, and are excited to be sending students to Church Farm School and White Mountain School for the first time. The full list of school placements is as follows:

 

Randy Guzman Berkshire School
Pablo Paxtor Church Farm School
James Vasquez Indian Mountain School
Aaliyah Sampson Kent School
Ashanti Amastal Loomis Chaffee School
Jesus Fierro Trinity-Pawling School
David Paxtor White Mountain School

 

Congratulations again to our accepted team members! We can’t wait to cheer you on as you begin this next chapter.

 

Photo Above: Aaliyah Sampson & James Vasquez showing off their acceptance letters! 

Jan
27

CitySquash News!

Alan & Dainalee show off their Early Decision acceptance letters!

 

Early Decision Acceptances 

 

December brought good news for CitySquash team members Alan Lopez (Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics ’21) and Dainalee Velez (Millbrook School ’21), who gained Early Decision college acceptances to Colby College and Bates College, respectively. We are proud of their hard work and perseverance throughout this challenging remote college process, and could not be more excited for them to both be Maine-bound! Alan will join two CitySquash teammates at Colby, and Daina will be the fourth CitySquasher to attend Bates. Both plan to play on their schools’ respective varsity squash teams in the fall. We look forward to more good news on the admissions front for the rest of our high school seniors as they await more college decisions in the coming weeks.

 

 

Team Members Return to Squash 

Middle school team members practice their technique on public handball courts after months without being able to play squash. 

 

After months of only virtual interactions and no squash, CitySquash team members were able to return to some in-person sessions and squash play this fall. The Heights Casino, Lifetime Athletic, M Squash, Pyramid Squash and Westchester Squash generously opened their doors to small groups of our players, enabling them to get on court for the first time since last March. High school senior Roberto Cruz noted that, “with all the problems this year, playing squash recently has been a really important outlet.” We are so grateful to all of the clubs who have made these opportunities possible!

In the Bronx, we have also been able to utilize public outdoor handball courts to run weekly in-person squash and fitness sessions for all team members. An additional benefit of these sessions has been having some CitySquash college students and alumni help to lead them. College sophomore Sh-Kyrah Stevens appreciates the opportunity to work with her younger teammates and says, “the kids are wonderful and it has been amazing to see how much potential and talent they carry. Being part of their journeys as CitySquashers is an honor, and I can’t wait to see them develop as players and people.” 

 
 
 
5th Battle of Brooklyn Raises over $165,000
 
Members of the winning team, Team Love All, celebrate after winning the 2020 Battle of Brooklyn!
 
The fifth Battle of Brooklyn will be one to remember in its virtual format! Seven teams made up of over 120 people from around the world competed in fundraising and virtual challenges, and ended up raising $166,154 for CitySquash’s Brooklyn program. The challenges included a dance, jigsaw puzzles, burpees and team videos, and the Finals Showdown for the top-four teams featured a trivia competition put on by Tailor-Made Trivia. After a hard-fought competition, Team Love All, co-captained by Silvia Campo and Greg Pitaro, came away with the 2020 Battle of Brooklyn title. 
 
The event would not have been possible without the hard work of all of our captains: Kelly Campelli, Silvia Campo, Will Cembalest, Jess Davis, Clare Kearns, Peter Kelly, Mimi & Whitten Morris, Greg Pitaro, Sarah Robertson, Izzy Ronda, Lindsay Stanley, Laura Trevelyan and Callie Worth. Thanks to all who participated to make it such a fun and energetic week, and to all who supported the event. We hope to see everyone back on court for the sixth Battle of Brooklyn! 
 
 
 
Virtual Game Nights Bring Mentors & Mentees Together 
 
Mentors & mentees catch up on Zoom before starting a Friday night of competition. 
 
Throughout the fall and winter, CitySquash mentors and mentees have enjoyed remaining in touch through our Friday Virtual Game Night Series. The games have included Escape the Room, Jeopardy, Bingo, Pictionary and Scattergories. Ninth grade team member Ashley Montesinos says the game nights are a “great way to get my mind off school” and have “helped my relationship with my mentor, Lauren, because we are able to communicate much more and spend some quality time together.” Lauren says, “I love the Mentor Game Night Series because it has allowed me and Ashley to connect even more than before COVID-19. It’s so easy for mentors and mentees, who could be located anywhere right now, to join a Zoom call and have fun together!” Thanks to all of our mentors who have participated and provided support for their mentees throughout this challenging time!