Mission & History
Our Mission + Vision + Theory of Change.
Founded in 2001, SquashSmarts is a free intensive out-of-school time program supporting the lives of Philadelphia’s public school students. SquashSmarts is a 501c3 non-profit academic and athletic mentoring program with a proven track record of keeping kids in school, in shape, and on track for graduation.
Through a partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts' Evaluation Capacity Building Initiative, and following the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, SquashSmarts has developed and is guided by the following Theory of Change, Vision and Mission Statements:
Theory of Change: A Better World “SquashSmarts fosters a family of inclusive, civically and professionally engaged citizens who maintain healthy, resilient, pro-social lives.”
Vision: Aspirational Success “SquashSmarts aspires to have 100% of its students graduate from high school, follow defined post-secondary paths toward college and/or career, and carry the values of the program forward into their lives and communities.”
Mission: Dedicated Daily Focus “SquashSmarts is dedicated to improving the lives of underserved youth from Philadelphia public schools by providing intensive, long-term academic tutoring and squash instruction, while imparting high standards of personal integrity, health and fitness, and service to the community.”
Our Program Model + Facilities + Pillars + Skills
SquashSmarts students are selected in 6th-8th grades based on commitment, effort and attitude, not athletic or academic ability. Students are recruited in 6th-8th grade from our five partner schools: Carver Engineering & Science Middle School, Esperanza Academy Charter School, Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, Overbrook Educational Center, and Science Leadership Academy Middle School.
SquashSmarts operates out of two facilities, the Lenfest Center (North Philadelphia) and Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center (West Philadelphia) where students attend practices three days each week, year round, focusing on SquashSmarts’ Four Pillars and Seven Skills:
1. Academic Learning
2. Squash & Fitness
3. Service To Community
4. Camps & Leadership
2. Goal Setting
5. Physical Health
6. Positive Relationships
Finally, a long-term, seven-year commitment is made to each child to ensure success by providing a team, a family, a safety net and a sense of belonging. Strong, hyper-intamate, one-on-one relationships with our staff and volunteers are the key to fostering each child’s success and breaking the cycle of Philadelphia’s public school drop-out rate. Put simply, SquashSmarts is Giving Kids Their Best Shot!
Watch SquashSmarts Program