SquashWise is a unique youth development program promoting academic achievement and athleticism through the sport of squash. None of our students had ever heard of squash before, but now they are avid scholar-athletes competing across the country in national tournaments. Students from Baltimore City Public Schools join in 5th or 6th grade and participate through 12th grade, with additional support through college. We provide daily tutoring, mentoring, squash coaching, and fitness activities. While SquashWise students are not yet old enough to graduate from high school and move on to college, older urban squash programs in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston boast 100% high school graduation rates and 90% college completion rates among their graduates. SquashWise aims for the same successes in a city where only 64% of students graduate from high school and of these graduates, only 14% finish college (Baltimore Education Research Consortium, 2004 cohort). Our first cohort of students will graduate from high school in 2015, and they are already setting their sights on college. In the meantime, students have demonstrated impressive gains in grades, fitness, and squash performance.
Funded by Baltimore, MD (May 2013)