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2009 Pierce Junior Silver Squash Tournament
Event Date: October 30 – November
What: Silver Level junior
tournament (players ranked 33 or below)
Sanctioned by: U.S. Squash
for 2009-20100 rankings
Where: The SquashSmarts’ Lenfest Center.
Deadline: Friday, October 23, 2009 at 5:00pm.
Sign Up: Click here for the Tournament
SquashSmarts Class of
SquashSmarts welcomes 20 new 6th grade boys
and girls to the SquashSmarts Class of 2016. Congratulations to all of our young
student-athlete taking their first step toward the seven-year goal of high
school and college graduation: Doris Perez, Ta'Quan
Stanley, Jasmine Butler, Tyron Rivers, Hasheem
Singletary, Allesha Outlaw, Jasmine Tyler, Zaquil Williams, Keir
Thompson, Ta'Juan Dumas; Yamira
Sachel, Myrlaine Rios, Jadzia Del Valle, Leonardo Savattiny,
Tyzja Faison, Nizja
Faison, Ameerah Alexander, Betsy Claudio, Joshua Londono, Louis Hernandez. Special thanks to the
twenty-three volunteers who helped SquashSmarts put its best foot forward with
all 64 students who came to SquashSmarts six try-out sessions: Natalie Chen, Wick Clothier, Rory Crowe, Mike
Delonte, Jamie Frazier, Anne Hilton, Trevor McGuinness, Vince McGuinness,
Ethan Moritz, Alex Nalle, Molly Pierce, Jenny Schulkin, Daniel Sneed, Christine Sunu,
Andrew White, Julie Williams.
Plan for Hunting
Civic leaders, community members and SquashSmarts team
members gathered Saturday to unveil a new master plan for North
Philadelphia’s Hunting Park situated two blocks from SquashSmarts’
Lenfest Center. Organizers from Fairmount
Park, Citizens Bank, The Ryan Howard Family Foundation, The Pennsylvania
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, The Philadelphia
Department of Recreation, Hunting Park United, The North Philadelphia
Aztecs, SquashSmarts and local residents came together to celebrate a new
chapter in the park’s history and to formally kick-start the
redevelopment efforts with an invasive plant-removal and flower-planting
project at the park’s recreation center. Special thanks to 8th graders Kassandra Gonzalez and Robert Rivers, Board Member Alex
Mack and Citzen'Deborah Kahn for braving the rain
and rallying the troops!
New flowers and
friendships in Hunting
Park: Deborah Kahn
with the SquashSmarts students.
Steve Gregg, Alex
Mack, Dan Fitzpatrick and Citizens Bank employees all volunteer.
Stay On Track
SquashSmarts is committed to staying in touch and
providing support to all of high school graduate. As part of our fall “check-in”
we are happy to report that our high school graduates are staying on track:
including sophomores Rachel Edmonds (Haverford
Kennedy (Bloomsburg University), Amber Thomas (Bowie
Jasmin Wingate (Mt.
and freshman Quinetta Bowden (Merrimack
College), Tempest Bowden (Mount Holyoke),
Toni Glover (Penn State Abbington), Kareem Price (University
SquashSmarts students braved the cold and damp morning on
Sunday to participate in the 12k Philadelphia AIDS Walk, a nationwide event
designed to increase AIDS awareness and raise funds for AIDS research. New friendships, big smiles, warm
pretzels and a sense of pride and accomplishment kept the SquashSmarts
students and staff motivate. Special Thanks
to Tariem Burroughs and high school students Shenae
Walters, Denise Roundtree and Devonte
Harris for picking up the pace.
Shenae & Denise with 12th grader Devonte
and Academic Director
Tariem at the Philly Aids Walk
Hosts National Conference
Forty-five staff members from nine National Urban Squash
and Education Association programs gathered in Philadelphia last week for a two day
learning retreat at SquashSmarts.
Break-out sessions helped facilitate meaningful dialogues on topics
such as: academic tutoring, mentoring, high school and college placement,
squash curriculum and instruction, summer programming, nutrition, sex
education, fund raising and more. Special thanks
to Greg Zaff,
Executive Director of our National Urban Squash & Education
Association; guest speaker Jason Wingard PhD and
Senior Fellow of the Wharton’s Sports Business Initiative
The women and men devoting
their lives in nine cities to the student-athletes of Urban Squash and Education.
Partnership Brings New
SquashSmarts hosted an enthusiastic class of elementary
school students Thursday from the Hope Partnership for Education charter
school. The students were lead by the SquashSmarts staff through a morning
of mentoring, fitness and academic games and fun. Special thanks to Steve Zipf,
Jennifer Donahue and Helen Bamber for forging this new partnership.
students first visit to SquashSmarts
Kick Off & College Challenge
150 friends and patrons cheered on SquashSmarts students
and the Top College Squash Playurrs as part of
SquashSmarts 9th season kick-off celebration. The event-filled
weekend featured reigning men’s and women’s college squash
champions Baset Chaudhry
and Nour Baghat, as
well as a cocktail party, pl;ayer
dinner, professional networking event and on-court practice time and
mentoring with the SquashSmarts students.
thanks to Lisa & David Stokes and Paige & Jeff Yager for hosting the college players; and our
fantastic student-athletes: Britt Hebden (UPenn), Johanna Snyder (Harvard), Lexi
Van Arkel (Yale), Logan Greer (Yale), Nour Bahgat (Trinity), Pamela
Hathway (Trinity), Sydney Scott (UPenn), Tehani Guruge (Trinity); Gabriel DeMelo
(F&M), Ben Mantica (Navy), Brett Camarda (Brown), Colin West (Harvard), Baset Chaudhry (Trinity), Supreet Singh (Trinity), Nils Mattsson
(Navy), Nadav Tannen (F&M).
Challenge: players and SquashSmarts staff
College Tour & Liberty
For some students the words “school’s closed”
means a day spent at home. Not for SquashSmarts kids! On Monday, the 12th
graders boarded the train with Tariem bound for Washington,
DC and a tour of George Washington and Howard Universities
while our 7th graders rode SEPTA downtown for a learning tour of the National Liberty Museum,
lunch at the Bourse and a trip to Penn’s Landing. Special thanks
to Wendy Lawrence, GW Squash Coach, for her warmth and hospitality.
Howard College & Frederick Douglas Memorial
Seniors Go To College – Part 2
Congratulations to following SquashSmarts seniors who,
after seven years in the program, had received admission into the college,
university or post-graduate program of their choice for the Fall of 2009!
Mr. Kareem Price. University of Wilmington
Ms. Quinetta Bowden. Merrimack College
Ms. Toni Glover. Penn State Abbington
Ms. Tempest Bowden. Mount Holyoke
Annual “Take Me Out To Ballpark!”
SquashSmarts enjoyed its 6th Annual Student and
Family Phillies outing to Citizens
last night. This year, the team cheered on their proud Phillies to a
12-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks! More than 70 students, family,
friends, staff and volunteers turned out for the game. Special thanks
to Dan Goroff
for enabling this outing year after year. An equal note of thanks and
appreciation to our four summer interns who organized the game and worked
hard all summer long on our student’s behalf.
2009 Embrace Camp named
NUSEA exchange program
America’s oldest squash, community
service and cultural enrichment summer camp – The Embrace Camp
– was chosen as a 2009 NUSEA exchange camp by the National Urban
Squash and Education Association.
The purpose is to bring together boys and girls from
seven of programs and cities around the country. Student arrived at the Lenfest Center
in North Philadelphia on Sunday from Boston,
Harlem, Philadelphia, The Bronx, Chicago, New Haven and Baltimore for a week
of intensive instruction and training.
Focus areas included squash, fitness, leadership,
culture outings and service projects. Special camp partners this year
include Philadelphia Outward Bound, The Philadelphia Phillies, Council for Relationships and the Philadelphia Squash
One-on-one student-to-staff instruction provided by
SquashSmarts four professional program staff, four fantastic summer
interns, two student student-graduate leaders, and over twenty daily
2009 Embrace Camp
- Private tour of the Citizen’s Bank Park
- Outward Bound Leadership Ropes Course
- Anger management & relaxation workshop
- Mental preparation workshop
- Individual and team squash tournaments
- Pro squash exhibition featureing
Lane and Rich Repetto
- Squash, squash and more squash
- Running the Rocky Steps!
- Awards, BBQ, movies, games and more!
2009 National Urban
Individual Championships Recap
The 2009 National Urban Squash & Education
Association Individuals Championships was held last weekend
at the pristine and pastoral Williamstown,
event is without question the
highlight of the SquashSmarts season and is the culmination of months of
hard work and training. Each student who represents SquashSmarts has truly
earned a spot on the bus.
weekend began at 6am Friday with 33 SquashSmarts boys and girls and 7 staff
and volunteers boarding the bus bound for Williams. On the other end, 243 student-athletes
from nine rival programs awaited us at the Simon Squash
hailed from Boston, Harlem, Philadelphia,
The Bronx, Chicago, San
Diego, New Haven, Baltimore and Denver.
on the squash court were numerous but the one take-away was that
SquashSmarts boasts the two most talented non-boarding school urban
squash players in the nation.
Kareem Price, SquashSmarts #1 men’s
player, finished a career-high 2nd after a tremendous 5-game
semi-final victory in the Boy’s Under 19 Championship. [The eventual
champion attends boarding school].
be outdone, Sakora Miller, SquashSmarts’ #1
women’s player, fought her way to an impressive 5th place
finish in the Girls Under 19 consolation. [The top 4 female finishers all
attend boarding school].
high school teammates Yawa Adjesson and Junaid
Bin Mukhtar each finished 9th in
their respective Under 17 and Under 19 age divisions while our promising
new middle school player, Justin
Garland, placed 6th in his debut NUSEA event!
to the dorms Saturday night, 11 of SquashSmarts 33 players – a full
one third of the team – was still alive and would still be competing
on day three of the championships.
them were all of SquashSmarts
seven-year graduating seniors –
Kareem Price, Toni Glover and Quinetta Bowden – each of whom was
competing in his/her final urban squash championship.
weekend also featured competitive non-squash activities with national
contests in both writing and art.
SquashSmarts was well-represented in each with our own Phech Kong Loa winning the Art
Competition and Kalik Stanley, Kimora Wilson and John Garland
earning finalist honors in the Writing Competition.
success of the weekend was due in every way to the organization, coaching
and energy of our staff. In
particular, an indelible mark has been made by Peter Stokes, our interim high school squash director, and Alex Buxbaum,
our former and first-rate squash coach
could not find two finer citizens or people to lead our students. Their
nurturing wisdom combined with the leadership and teamwork that Jake, Tariem, Katie and Guillermo
bring to the program is what truly separates SquashSmarts from our peers.
and heart felt thanks to Chase Lenfest who made the long journey
up to Williams. His cheers in victory and hugs in defeat are what competition
is all about.
Quinetta Bowden, 12th grade Finalist (NUSEA
Student-Athlete of the Year Award)
Oscar Merano, 8th grade Finalist
(NUSEA Future Star of Year Award Nominee)
Squash Award Wineers
Price, 2nd place (Boys U19)
Sakora Miller 5th place (Girls U19)
Garland 6th place (Boys U15)
Bin Mukhtar 9th place (Boys U19)
Yawa Adjesson 9th place
Academic Award Winners
Phech Kong Loa, winner (U13 art contest)
Kalik Stanley, finalist (U19 writing contest)
Garland, finalist (U15 writing contest)
Kimora Wilson, finalist (U13 writing contest)
“All aboard” for Williams Re-fueling at WilliamsCollege Mission Hall
300students at the Awards
Ceremony… Kareem on the phone with Ms. Molly + Sakora
getting pumped before her final
Alex & Peter… Chase and
Dale Walker… Big smiles from Katie and Denise… Big hugs from
Jake and Yawa
Each season, the SquashSmarts staff
selects four summer leadership interns including two high school and two
college students. Interns are paired with a SquashSmarts staff mentor in
either squash or academics at our West and North
Philadelphia program sites. Interns work directly with our
students and are responsible for managing our summer practices as well as
assisting our staff with the student’s summer enrichment activities.
SquashSmarts 2009 summer leaderships interns are:
Chris Wert. Kenyon
Tyler Stout. St. Lawrence University
Andrew White. The Shipley
Brandon Goodman. Upper
SquashSmarts Helps Clean
Up Hunting Park
students and staff answered two calls this spring: one from Mayor
Nutter’s “Philly Clean Up” organizers on April 4th
and the other from “Comcast Cares Day” organizers on April
25. Students from both West and
North Philly came together with alumni from Trinity College
and with citizens of local neighborhoods to help make our city shine.
Hunting Park leaders join
together. Tony Payton (State Representative/SquashSmarts Advisory Board
member) with Stephen Gregg (SquashSmarts Executive Director), Kate Wilhelm
(Executive Director of Fairmount
Park Conservancy) and
local Trinity college alumni with SquashSmarts students.
SquashSmarts Named 2009 Champion in Action®
SquashSmarts is honored to have been named the 2009
Champion In Action® for youth programming! SquashSmarts receives a $25,000
award, underwritten by the Citizens Bank Foundation, along with media
exposure and volunteer benefits. The Champion In Action® award is presented
in partnership with NBC10, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, Philly.com & Greater Philadelphia Cares. “When it comes to community
partnerships, The Champions In Action award is truly the complete package.
From Citizens Bank Foundation's financial support to NBC10 and the Philadelphia
Inquirer's exposure, SquashSmarts could not have asked for a more unique or
rewarding joint venture. - Stephen Gregg, SquashSmarts Exective
More on the award…
Bank President Dan Fitzpatrick & NBC 10
General Manager Dennis Bianchi present the 2009
Champion In Action award to
SquashSmarts’ Board President
Lisa Stokes and Executive Director Stephen Gregg. Students celebrate live
on NBC’s The 10! Show.
Seniors Go To College – Part 1
Congratulations to following SquashSmarts seniors who,
after six years with the program, received admission into the college,
university or post-graduate program of their choice for the Fall of 2009!
Ms. Amber Thomas. Bowie State
Ms. Jasmin Wingate.
Kennedy. Bloomsburg University
Ms. Rachel Edmonds. Haverford College
Ms. Tempest Bowden. Mercersburg Academy
Join us Saturday June 21, 2008 from 11:00am-1:00pm as
SquashSmarts salutes Amber, Jasmine, Mercedes, Rachel and Tempest and all
of its students grades 6th-11th at our 2008
Year-End Celebration. This
year’s ceremony features keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Treat, CEO of
the Philadelphia-based Council on Relationships.
Hosts 2008 National Championship
250 student-athletes from seven U.S. cities descended on SquashSmarts’
North Philadelphia program for The 2008
National Urban Squash & Education Team Championships. The competition
marked the first national championship held outside of Boston, MA,
the birthplace of urban squash and education. All matches took place at the
new Lenfest Center,
SquashSmarts multi-million dollar youth center located in North
ranging in age from 10 to 19 traveled from Boston,
Chicago, New Haven,
New York and San Diego to compete for national
SquashSmarts gathers for a pre-match photo; SquashSmarts
honors patron Leo Pierce Sr.; NUSEA welcomes San Diego
and New Haven.
photos by Marvin
Girls Under 19 Team - 2nd place
Boys Under 19 Team - 3rd place
Boys Under 15 Team - 3rd place
Girls Under 13 Team - 3rd place
Boys Under 13 Team - 3rd place
- Philadelphia Inquirer Covers the Action! -
“ USING SQUASH TO GET ON
from Struggling Districts Learn a Sport of
and Shakers, and a few Things About Life.
Text by Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer; Photo by April Saul,
Inquirer Staff Photographer; Posted on Sun, Apr. 13, 2008
This weekend, 260 kids from public schools in Harlem,
the Bronx, Boston, Chicago,
San Diego, New Haven,
and some of Philadelphia's diciest neighborhoods descended on a state-of-the-art
athletic center in Hunting
Park. From 8 a.m.
yesterday until past 7 p.m., they streamed in, climbed to the second story,
and dumped their bags in a corner that began to look like the lost-baggage
counter at American Airlines. Then they put on their goggles, picked up
their rackets, and, two by two, entered through a glass wall to pitilessly
bash a little black ball in a bright-white court in a game of squash.
A game of the English gentry, it was developed in the
1800s at the elite Harrow School and long remained the nearly exclusive
domain of white men in white shorts who picked up the sport at prep school,
practiced it at an Ivy, and went on to play at private clubs with partners
from the firm.
Not surprising, then, that most
of the athletes at this weekend's National Urban Squash Tournament, who
come from low-income families in school districts with little or no
after-school athletics, never knew that squash was anything other than a
vegetable. That is, until recruiters from one of the seven new urban squash
programs showed up during gym with a video, a few rackets and balls, and a
"It was like the best hurricane that ever came through
someone's life," says Quinetta Bowden, 16, a sophomore at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She and her
older sister, Tempest, have played since 2002, when the nonprofit
SquashSmarts visited the city's Morton
to launch the program.
The program's energetic leaders, who introduced
themselves as Miss Julie and Chase Lenfest, appeared like emissaries from
Planet Happy-Ever-After, the sisters recall.
"They looked so different," Tempest, 18, says.
"She was wearing tights and shorts and a fleece. He was in bombed-out
"They made it seem so inviting," says
Quinetta. "Like if you joined, you had instant success."
(left), with Brittany Kennedy, wants to be a lawyer,
and SquashSmarts, she said, showed
her "what I want is not far-fetched."
The third program of its kind in the country,
SquashSmarts recruits sixth graders and commits to work with them for at
least three years, teaching and coaching squash, but also providing
academic tutoring, summer camps, Outward Bound experiences and travel, and
high school and college placement.
Ten to 14 children are chosen from each sixth-grade
class after tryouts, says Stephen Gregg, executive director, as he marks
the results of the first round of this tournament's matches on giant
easels. This is the first time the tournament is being held in Philadelphia.
Until last fall, SquashSmarts used courts at Drexel University. But in October, it
expanded its program into a new, two-story, 57,000-square-foot facility in Hunting Park. The $9 million center was
funded by Ana Maria and H. Chase Lenfest. The same Chase Lenfest who played
squash at Yale and showed up at the McMichael School
in the bombed-out sneaks.
SquashSmarts' objective is not to get its graduates into
Ivy League schools, but to open up their world and let them dream big.
"We don't take the best and brightest or the
athletically gifted," Gregg says. "What we're looking for is just
commitment. How hard you try. Success, similarly, has less to do with
winning matches than attendance, good conduct and teamwork."
Most of the students come from homes and neighborhoods
bruised by urban poverty.
"They tend to be older than their years,"
Gregg says. "This allows them to be kids."
One of yesterday's competitors, Maria Perez, says she
has been getting into a lot less trouble since she started playing squash
"People used to get on my nerves," she
explains, so she would get into fights. "I was kicked out of three
Maria, 13, lives in Hunting Park
with her mother, who is unemployed and disabled, and three siblings.
Through squash, she says, she is learning to deal with
"They started encouraging me. . . . On the court,
it feels good. It's all right when you lose because winning isn't everything.
That's what they tell you."
Six years after holding a squash racket for the first
time, Quinetta Bowden has played on teams that twice came in second in
national urban tournaments. She's good, she says, but sister Tempest is
In 2006, while in 10th grade, Tempest qualified for the U.S.
junior nationals and became the nation's highest-ranked African American
squash player among girls under 17. (She's now ranked 42d in the under-19
group.) "People call us the Venus and Serena Williams of squash,"
At first, she says, "we played with used goggles
"But we didn't care," says Tempest.
"Because we didn't know what new looked like."
A year after they started playing, their parents went
through a difficult divorce.
"It was like a twilight zone. You were in this
whole bunch of mess," says Tempest. "But when you were in squash,
you could leave that. Hit the ball. Take out some of that anger."
Their father, Kenneth, accompanied them to the
tournament to help man the grill and serve several hundred hot dogs and
burgers to the athletes. A former cook at Champps
and a Sheraton hotel, he has been out of work since February 2006 and
living on disability payments.
"You know you have great aspirations for your kids.
But growing up in this area, even though they have big dreams, you don't
know how they're going to get there."
With the help of SquashSmarts, Tempest will graduate
High School in June and attend Mercersburg Academy, a postgraduate boarding
school; she plans eventually to teach kindergarten. Through the program,
her sister spent her 16th birthday at a squash program in London.
"I want so much," says Quinetta, who is
determined to become a lawyer. "And it showed me what I want is not
Adds her sister, "Because you've seen the world
outside of Philly, you know there's so much more out there."
Yesterday, the sisters won their matches, both 3-0.
Today, they're in the finals.
Spring Clean Up
Thousands of citizens, including
150 SquashSmarts students, staff and volunteers, joined together on
Saturday, April 5 to clean up Philadelphia’ Mayor Nutter and his
staff chose SquashSmarts and the Hunting Park neighborhood as one of 160
local community organizations.
Partner: St. Ignatius Nursing Home
SquashSmarts and St. Ignatius
Nursing Home at 44th and Haverford forged a new relationship that will
bring both groups together each month. Regular activities will include
bingo, art classes, physical therapy and maybe even a little tai chi! To
get involved, please contact Jake at 215-895-4963 or email@example.com.
Graders Join The Team!
Twenty new 6th grade students
joined the team this month, including twelve boys and girls from Robert
Clemente Elementary and eight girls and boys from Drew Elementary.
Observes Veterans Day
This Veterans Day, SquashSmarts reached out to the men and
women of our armed forces overseas during the 2nd annual “Letter's to Soldiers” writing
project. Students listened to board member Andre Stephano,
former enlisted marine and current lieutenant in the US Naval Reserve, then
created beautiful heart-felt letters to our soldiers. "I am honored you are reading my letters and grateful for what
you are doing for our country”…… “I play and love
to do things my way in my free time but if it weren't for you I couldn't do
that… so when you sign that paper to fight for us I understand what
you give up and I appreciate it.”
Bicknese joins Academic Program Staff
Katie Bicknese joins SquashSmarts after two years with
City Year Greater Philadelphia where she served as a corps member in West
High School as well
as in their Development Department.
Katie discovered her passion for community involvement at Penn State where she served hundreds of
hours with Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-educational service
fraternity. Of all the community
work she's done, Katie is most thrilled when she sees a student's face
light up after learning something challenging. "After-school programming is what
made me enjoy my childhood and find a place for myself. Nothing makes me happier than being able
to give such an incredible opportunity to today's youth."
Jeff Coursen joins Board of Directors
Mr. Coursen joins SquashSmarts
after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at
ATX Communications, where he held various executive management positions
for thirteen years. Mr. Coursen is currently active in several professional
boards and non-profit associations and was appointed in March 2007 as
Executive in Residence by the Drexel Lebow
College of Business where he will work closely with the Graduate School of
Business and Krall Center
for Corporate Education as well as serve as Adjunct Professor. Mr. Coursen received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan
graduated from The Georgetown University Business School Professional
Development Program in 1992, the Drexel University Executive M.B.A. program
in 1999 and continues to participate in the Wharton School Executive Management
Helps Christens New Facility
Two rival programs met for an eagerly anticipated match
at the new SquashSmarts center in North Philadelphia.
The outing was a great success with hard fought matches, terrific
sportsmanship and an opportunity for students from the two cities to bond.
Our middle school team took down StreetSquash's 9th
grade team by a score of 6-2; Our High School Girls Team tied StreetSquash
3-3 with wins by Tempest Bowden, Sakora Miller and
Brittany Kennedy; our High School Boys team fell to their NY rivals 5-3
with Demonte Harris, Devonte
Harris and Lamin Conteh
earning victories. Special thanks to
Molly Pierce and Bob Bitterman for their support
SquashSmarts welcome StreetSquash to the Lenfest Center
Grand Opening a Grand Success
On October 20th, SquashSmarts unveiled its
new 50,000 sq ft athletic-academic center in North Philadelphia with the
celebration of the Best Shot Ball,
a spectacular evening that drew 375
friends and patrons and raised over $81,000 in support the SquashSmarts
students. Special guests included Governor Edward Rendell, Fox
Sport’s Don Tollefson, Phillie
Phanatic, Eagles Swoop and World Squash Champions
Jon Power and John White. Our thanks to all who attended this wonderful
Governor Rendell and Phillie Phanatic rally around the SquashSmarts kids.
Student Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqbMLSs-RDY
Grand Opening Photos here: http://www.squashsmarts.org/BestShotBall.html
Middle School Students Help Rebuild Homes
SquashSmarts students donned their hard hats
and joined forces with "The Other Carpenter" to help two West
Philadelphia families refurbish and repair their damaged
homes. "The Other Carpenter" is an
organization that assists homeowners in the East Parkside community of West Philadelphia with maintenance and home
improvement. The students split into two groups. Team 1 painted and
provided support for structural repairs to a home occupied by a disabled
senior citizen and her son with Down's Syndrome that could
not perform repairs themselves. Students 7th graders Denise Roundtree
and Shenae Walters were designated as
"team painters," and while they seemed to get as much paint on
their clothes and in their hair, the family was thrilled with the
transformation of the bedroom from dingy, peeling painted walls to
sparkling clean, bright walls. Teamates Nathaniel Smith and volunteer Andrew McGuinness
served as carpenters removing damaged walls, molding and window sills and
replacing them with new wood and dry wall.
Team 2 was dispatched a few blocks away to help a senior
citizen couple whose home also needed major structural repairs. Community
Service Coordinator Trevor McGuinness led this group with the
assistance from 12th grader Rachel
Edmonds who also doubled as the projct
photographer. Student workers included John Batista, Joe Johnson, Dewon Flythe and Justin Roebuck who worked as
carpenters as they repaired damaged walls, ceilings and framing. The family was ecstatic with the
results and expressed their gratitude that an organized group of
students would spend a free Saturday helping strangers in need.
After handshakes and hugs, the cheery group asked in
unison "when can we do this again?!!" - a
sign of a successful day of service. Special thanks to Lisa Stokes, chair of the SquashSmarts Community Service Committee, who was
far more successful putting paint on the walls than on her clothes and to
Board Member Pete Prinsen
who introduced SquashSmarts to this worthy
Student Shares Foreign Perspective
to Lamin Conteh, 9th grader at National Constitution
Center who was chosen among his
peers to speak at an official swearing-in ceremony for recently approved U.S. Citizens at the National Constitution
Center on Thursday,
April 19, 2007. Lamin is an inspiration for
everyone who strives to achieve their dreams. Here is an excerpt from
my name is Lamin Conteh.
I was born in Sierra
Being an immigrant myself, I can tell how joyful you all are at this
moment . Watching you now as you receive your
citizenship today makes me proud and hopeful that if I work hard,
some day I too will become a citizen."
On March 8th Lamin
had the further opportunity to meet with author Ishmael Beah at
the WHYY studio during a live broadcast of Radio Times with Marty Moss
Cohen. Ishmael, a fellow native of
Sierra Leon was in Philadelphia on a
media tour for his best-selling memoir A
Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. The author took time after
the show to speak with Lamin about school and
squash and to reminisce about life in their homeland. The two exchanged
email addresses and continue to keep in touch. The experience brought
smiles to everyone in the studio. Special thanks to Marty Moss-Cohen, Susan
Greenbaum and the entire Radio Times staff.
2007 National Urban Squash Team Championships
Sponsored by NUSEA
March 30-April 1, 2007
Seven years ago, on May 13, 2000 to be exact, a team of
eager junior squash players from New York's StreetSquash traveled to
Boston to face SquashBusters at the elite and venerable Harvard
University's Murr Center squash courts.
At that first urban squash match,
the New York
team captured the title over the then-four-year-old
Boston-based SquashBusters. Players and spectators alike described the play
and atmosphere as "unbelievable" and "incredible".
Seven years later, that same
exuberance still resounds at the National Urban Squash Team Championships,
held this year at Northeastern
SquashBusters' facility and sponsored by the newly formed National Urban
Squash & Education Association (NUSEA).
This year's tournament featured
240 students from all five NUSEA-member programs, including: Philadelphia's SquashSmarts, Chicago's
MetroSquash, New York's
City Squash and Harlem's StreetSquash and Boston's SquashBusters.
Tournament Director Chris Smith,
who coached last year's US Junior Men's team in New Zealand
commented on the talent, commitment and camaraderie of the players over the
"The fact that this event in
its 4th year has 240 kids representing 4 cities and 5 programs shows just
how far Urban Squash has come."
The NUSEA Team
Championships is in fact the 3rd biggest tournament in the United States
(250 played at the US Jr Closed and 280 played at
the US Jr Open) and even with that many
participants, the event went off without a hitch.
The expert scheduling and
tournament management by Smith and all the programs' staffers was evident
as the tournament proceeded over three flawless days.
In the Girls Under 13 Round
Robin, SquashBusters claimed a decisive victory, only losing one match out
of 15 played. New York's
City Squash, another juggernaut, claimed the Girls Under 15 draw, also
losing only one match on the road to victory.
Harlem's powerhouse, StreetSquash
flew through their draw, eagerly awaiting West
Philadelphia's SquashSmarts in a painfully tight Girls Under
17/19 title match, with StreetSquash edging out SquashSmarts 3-2.
David Kay's prior experience as a
teaching pro and coach at Rochester
evident in the Boys U13 draw, as his enthusiastic MetroSquash team clinched
the Boys U13 title in an intelligently fought battle. City Squash ruled the
Boys U15 Draw, defeating SquashBusters 4-1.
A standing room only crowd packed
Northeastern's facility to watch some of the best
squash in the Boys U17/19 final. SquashBusters proved themselves to be the
best, decisively picking apart StreetSquash 4-1 in a creative display of
squash competition that left viewers in awe.
"It is unbeliveable
how quickly many of these students pick up the game and
develop," remarked SquashSmarts Steve Gregg. "They're tremendous
athletes but they are also tremendous people. Each child here is proud
to identify with his or her team. And we are just very
honored to be a part of the whole culture. It's a special reunion -
SquashSmarts Team Results
The weekend would not have been possible with SquashSmats volunteers: Alison Hart, Mike Gale, parent Marylin Batista and the ever smiling Jean-Elise.
Special thanks to friends and supporters Helen Bamber, Eric Tietz, Katie Greenbaum and Nicole Belanger. An extra thanks is also due to Squash Director Jacob
Greenbaum for orchestrating the entire weekend.
Under 19 Girls: 2nd Place
Amber Thomas (captain)
Under 19 Boys: 3rd Place
Junaid Bin Mukhtar
Under 15 Girls: 3rd Place
Under 13 Boys: 4th Place
Justin Roebuck (co-captain)
SquashSmarts Plants Trees
in University City
After a walk through the
beautiful Locust Walk at 9:30am on Saturday, March 24 the SquashSmarts
students were greeted by members from the UC Green organization. Not
leaving a minute to waste, the middle school students took action and began
digging. Their teamwork, camaraderie, and enthusiasm was certainly evident;
there were over 30 volunteers fighting to plant 14 trees, and SquashSmarts
planted four. While many groups struggled to work together, the
SquashSmarts students embraced the challenge and repeted
their efforts until the job was done. Their enthusiasm was so overwhelming
that they had a race down Locust Walk the whole way home. They were even so
excited about the project that they asked if they could do it again next
weekend (even though they have Urban Teams)!!
Raffle Rally's Squash Community
SquashSmarts would like to thank
the entire Philadelphia
squash community for its tremendous support of the 4rth Annual SquashSmarts Charity Raffle and PSRA Awards
Dinner! All told, more than 50 prizes were awarded and over $13,000
was raised during a night of incredible squash and festivities.
Your support allows 22 students
from West Philadelphia to compete this weekend at the US National
Junior Bronze Championships in Berwyn, PA and also at the National Urban Teams Championship
in Boston, MA .
SquashSmarts would like to
congratulate each of the Winners and Finalist who played brilliantly and
provided wonderful entertainment.
Molly Pierce & John Makransky,
PSRA Tournament Co-Chairs and SquashSmarts Board members
Lisa Stokes, Caleb Tindall
& Joanne Jackson, Merion Cricket Club Hosts
Jacob Greenbaum, Raffle "MC" by night,
SquashSmarts Squash Director by day
& Jamie Heldring, Tournament referees
Peter Prinsen, SquashSmarts raffle ticket winner (for
the third year in a row) with over $7,000 in sales!
Kalik Stanley , Andrew McGuinness, Clare Kuensell,
Rebecca Greenberg, Denise Roundtree, Brittany
Kennedy, Yawa & Joe Johnson, Student &
The SquashSmarts & PSRA Board of Directors for their
continued support of our students
All of the wonderful fans, friends and raffle sponsors
who rallied to support SquashSmarts & the PSRA
Raffle prizes generously donated by…
A GREEN THING, ANSILL RESTAURANT, BALA
EYE CARE, BRYAN PATTERSON, CHLOE RESTAURANT, DARA
BERGER, DREXEL CREW COACH TERAH SCHAMBERG, DREXEL UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, GAVIN JONES, HOWARD
ESKIN'S & 610 WIP, JEFFREY MILLER
CATERING, JIMMY ROLLINS, JOE RUSSELL, JOSEPH EAGLE
& EASE UP, THE PIERCE FAMILY, MARIGOLD KITCHEN RESTAURANT, MARY CROUSE, MERION
CRICKET CLUB, MIKE JEFFERYS, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS, PHILADELPHIA
DOWNTOWN MARRIOTT, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ,
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES BASKETBALL TEAM, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
YOUTH PARTNERSHIP CARNIVAL, PHILADELPHIA
FLYERS, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES, PHILADELPHIA SOUL, PHILADLEPHIA
EAGLES TRAINING CAMP, PIF RESTAURANT, PRINCE SQUASH, STEVE
VIRGONA, THE BELLWOOD CLUB, THE CYNWYD CLUB, THE MANN
CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, TINA RICKS,
OF PENNSYLVANIA MEN'S AND WOMEN'S SQUASH TEAMS.. Thank You!!!
Hard Work Earns Local Victory
Congratulations to SquashSmarts 5-year veteran Tempest Bowden
who drove, boasted and dropped her way to the Girls Under 17 championship
at “The Squash Club at CHA Tournament” this past weekend in Chestnut Hill, PA.
Tempest, who finished last season ranked 34th in the country and earned a
coveted spot in U.S. Junior Nationals (Gold Level), became the first
SquashSmarts student-athlete ever to win a USSRA sanctioned competition!
Tempest defeated three very challenging opponents, including top-seeded
Stephanie Jewitt 9-1, 9-7, 9-4, en route to the
GU17 title. For those attending, it was tough to miss the calm yet
ever-present smile on the impressive young athlete's face.
Competing alongside Tempest were teammates Mithun Das (BU15), Devonte Harris (BU15), Kalik Stanley (BU17) and Junaid Bin Muhktar (BU17).
Junaid's heroic comeback from a two-game deficit
turned many heads in the crowd. Overall, the team proved to be class acts
on and off the court, showing sportsmanship, determination and fantastic
teamwork in cheering on each other and having a great time. Special thanks
to Bryan Patterson, Joe Russell and Mike Jefferys
for running a fantastic event and Trevor McGuinness,
Henry Miller and Quinetta Bowden for their expert coaching and
Martin Luther King
Day 2007: SquashSmarts
traveled to nearby Parkway
School for a hectic yet rewarding day of
cleaning, painting and restoration. The kids split into groups and cleaned
closets, classrooms, storage areas and even two badly cluttered attics in
order to make room for new materials and supplies. Finally, the students
helped rearranged the school’s computer lab to allow Parkway students
a cleaner place to use their new computers. The team then
board the bus back to Drexel's Daskalaskis Athletic Center
for an exciting afternoon of squash. Special thanks to volunteers
Anna Adler and Lara Stevenson; Parkway West organizer Paulette Christie;
members of the DuPont Corporation; and the local residents and high school
students who attend Parkway.
M.A.N.N.A.: Each Tuesday and Thursday (5:30-8:00pm)
SquashSmarts kids visit the MANNA soup kitchen on 20th and Market Street to
help prepare meals for nutritionally deficient residents living right
here in Philadelphia, including those with HIV and terminal illnesses. If
you ave a free evening and interested in lending
a hand, contact Trevor McGuinness at 215-895-4964
and spend a memorable and meaningful evening with our students.
SquashSmarts wants YOUR ideas on meaningful
Community activities appropraite for Middle
School students for our March, April and May community projects. Please
send your creative suggestions to Trevor McGuinness
at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Congratulations to New 6th
Grade Team Members
The following students from Drew and McMichael Elementary
Schools have successfully completed the
rigorous fall tryout session and will join SquashSmarts as full team
members this January. Congratulations to John Batista, Joseph Johnson,
Denise Roundtree, Nathaniel Smith, Shenae Walters and their families
SquashSmarts Welcomes New
warm welcome to Mrs. Jocelyn Jones Arnold and Mr. Aaron Walters III as the
newest members of SquashSmarts Board of Directors. e
are extremely grateful for their commitment and service to our mission.
Julie Williams Retires
After five wonderful years with
the SquashSmarts organization, Julie Williams has announced her retirement
as Director of Academics effective October 2006.
Julie's service to the students
began in 2001 and has been nothing short of remarkable. As Executive Director (2002-2004) she
shaped the mission and values of our young program at a critical phase in
its development. Julie quite literally “pounded the pavement”
and forged meaningful partnerships with Drew and McMichael school, with
coaches and administrators at Drexel
University, with principals,
teachers and civic leaders in West Philadelphia,
and with parents and families of our promising young students.
Most notably, Julie secured the
program’s future in June 2004 by orchestrating a joint venture with
Drexel that lead to our current headquarters in the Daskalakis Athletic
Center -- all done
while single-handedly administering the day-to-day planning, recruitment,
fund raising and programming.
Julie set an equally high
benchmark as our Academic Director (2004-2006) instilling the love of
learning in each of our students. She surrounded herself at every session
with a cadre of consistent and caring tutors, oversaw two successful 8th
grade graduations, and guided our middle school graduates on to bright and
promising high school careers.
Less tangible though equally
critical is the overwhelming presence and personality of "Miss
Julie". The energy and ethos that Julie brought to work each and every
day will be hard to emulate, let alone replace. She will be dearly missed
by the students and staff who leaned on her as a role-model and a friend.
4th, 2006, close to 300 members of the Philadelphia squash community gathered at
the Racquet Club of Philadelphia for SquashSmarts’ first ever Casino
Night and Squash Challenge featuring PSA pro Jon White.
Multi-faceted celebrities such as Billy Cunningham of the 76ers, John Spagnola of the Eagles, Joe
Giles of the Phillies and Mike
French of the Wings demonstrated their talent on the doubles court,
while White dazzled spectators with his impeccable skills on the singles
court. White, a former world #1 singles player competed with an eclectic
group, including top collegiate athletes and SquashSmarts students in
five-point “lightning round” matches. Paul Assaiante, current Trinity
coach, who holds the record for longest winning streak in college squash history was the master of ceremonies.
By the time the squash exhibitions concluded, the main hall of the
Racquet Club looked and felt like an Atlantic
City casino; there were eight casino tables where
supporters played craps, roulette, black jack, and texas
hold’em poker on authentic casino tables
for a chance to win fabulous prizes donated by Prince. Everyone seemed to
find their niche, whether it was queuing up for a delicious buffet,
deciding what to order next from the open bar, playing the “come line”
in Craps, or socializing in the spacious reading room.
The night was a success for everyone raising $30,000 for
SquashSmarts. It was made possible by the many sponsors including The Graham Company, Cozen O’Connor and Prince Squash.
autobiography of Philadelphia’s
native son Benjamin Franklin is the most widely published autobiography
of all time! Now, in honor of Franklin's
300th birthday, the Benjamin Franklin
Tercentenary and One Book, One Philadelphia (a
project of the Mayor's Office and the Free Library of Philadelphia) have
invited the SquashSmarts high school team to
submit memoirs of their own!
Search for student entries by Last Name
[SquashSmarts girls = Quinetta Bowden,
Tempest Bowden, Rachel Edmonds, Marcedes
Kennedy, Amber Thomas, Jasmin Wingate
SquashSmarts boys = Tyreek
Davis, Kareem Price]
from all over Philly are sharing their stories. The winning pieces will be
published in The Philadelphia
Inquirer and Daily News
and reprinted on bus and subway posters throughout Philadelphia. Special thanks to Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary writer, promoter and volunteer Robin Fradkin for
visiting with SquashSmarts and encouraging our students to participate.
2006 EMBRACE SUMMER
Developed by SqauashSmarts
staff, Embrace is America’s
first-and-only summer day camp to combine Squash and Fitness instruction
with fun, educational Community Service projects! Dates: July 10-15. Ages:
11-15. Levels: Beginner & Intermediate. Space limited to 20 campers.
2006 SQUASHSMARTS JUNIOR OPEN
Keep your child’s tournament
experiences rolling into the summer at this fun, competitive two-day event. Tournament sanctioned by the United States Squash Racquets Association (Silver Level) and
counts toward the coming season’s USSRA Junior Rankings (2006-2007). Under
17, 15 and 13 age divisions offered. Tournament is open to the public and will be run Friday & Saturday only,
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
For older “kids” (i.e.
high school students, college students and adults) SquashSmarts offers
practices at Drexel
the summer. Become a squash
instructor or academic tutor and reach out to out fine young
SquashSmarts is pleased to announce a new
and visionary project spearheaded by Drexel University's Clinical
Psychology doctoral graduate program. The study, lead by graduate candidate
Ms. Heather Green,
will focus exclusively on two key aspects of the SquashSmarts after
school youth program.
Phase I will initiate a meaningful and longitudinal
demographic study of our student population dating back to the program's
inception and including all teenagers recruited from Drew &
McMichael Elementary over the past five years.
Phase II will examine the short and
long-term impact of our academic model on each of our young
The project, slated to commence June 2006,
will be expertly supervised by SquashSmarts' Board member and tenured
Drexel professor Dr. Kirk Heilbrun
as well as by SquashSmarts Academic Director Julie Williams. We look forward to updating you as we
unearth new answers to the most basic, yet critical, question: "What is best for our kids"
Award-winning poet, journalist, essayist and writing
teacher Janet Falon
will offer a writer’s workshop for SquashSmarts students each
Wednesday during the month of May.
Ms. Falon’s work has appeared in
numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer
and The Boston Globe. Students
must complete an application to the program to be considered for the
workshop. Samples writings will be
available on our website as the workshop progresses!
Student Athlete Day @ Drexel
More than a
dozen Drexel student-athletes and SquashSmarts children
came together to celebrate “National Student Athlete Day”. Drexel soccer, basketball, tennis,
cheerleading, lacrosse, wrestling, field hockey and dance team members all
shared ideas with our kids on sportsmanship, discussed key values, and
debated conflict scenarios in a series of interactive stations.
During team-building exercises, everyone did a little
dancing of their own [below]! SquashSmarts kids then taught the Drexel
student-athletes about squash, concluding yet another great exchange
between SquashSmarts and Drexel
thanks to Rebecca Gigli and Kathy
O’Brien and the Drexel athletes for a tremendously
“Art After Dark” Tribute Winners
Congratulations to 10th grader Rachel Edmonds and 6th
grader Dewon Flythe
whose winning pop-art drawings will appear in the
prestigious Philadelphia Art Museum’s “Art After
Dark” gala tribute program book. Our thanks to Ana Maria Lenfest, tribute book
editor, for creating, encouraging and acting as judge for this
Budding young artists and their hip, pop-art drawings!
+ Museum Tours
+ High School Placement + Poetry BBQ
Over Spring Break, 9th and 10th grade
students began the daunting yet exciting process of visiting colleges in
area. After researching schools
on-line, students visited Arcadia
University, Lincoln University
and West Chester University,
touring campuses, checking out dorms and dining halls and speaking to
students. As the kids delve further
into their specific interests, future visits will be tailored to the
student's specific needs.
Students at Lincoln
During the break, the following 8th grade students learned
that they had been accepted and making the leap on to high school!
Michael Baldwin, Saul High School for Agricultural Sciences
Jabria Campbell, High School of the Future
Mithun Das, Parkway West
Demonte Harris, Communications Technology
Devonte Harris, Communications Technology
Sakora Miller, Parkway West
Junaid Mukhtar, Science Leadership
Ryan Wheeler, High
School of the Future
Spike Lee’s films took center stage for the
SquashSmarts kids who toured Philadelphia’s
as part of their Spring Break celebration.
Exhibits included African American History, a poster exhibit of
African Americans in the film industry and various works of art local
African American artists.
Outiside the African American
"Academic Spring Break" ended with students
joining Academic Director Julie Williams at her home for a Poetry
Slam & BBQ.
Great respect and care were shown by all the students in reciting an
original poem to cap off an afternoon including basketball, whiffle ball,
piano and singing concerts, and a bit of swinging on the swing-set! Among all the good food and sunshine, the
listening and appreciation of each other’s poetry proved most
Students come together at the PSRA raffle (Merion Cricket Club)
Photo courtesy of
SquashSmarts would like to thank the entire Philadelphia squash
community for its tremendous support of SquashSmarts
3rd annual Benefit Raffle. All told, 44 prizes were awarded and
$17,000 was raised during a night of incredible squash (back-to-back
five-game PSRA doubles finals!), nail-biting sports (Villanova’s
double O.T. win in the NCAA basketball tournament!) and fantastic
support makes it possible for our 21 students to compete this weekend at
the 2006 Urban Team Nationals in Boston.
Raffle prizes generously donated by…
FAMILY, COZEN O'CONNOR, THE ENDE FAMILY, PRINCE SQUASH, TINDER BOX & VINO 100, ZINMAN FURS, THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES, THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE, THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER, VIVA VINO IMPORT, EASE UP FITNESS, MARIGOLD RESTAURANT, CHLOE RESTAURANT, AUDREY CLAIRE RESTAURANT, TWENTY MANNING RESTAURANT, ANSILL RESTAURANT, VIGGIANO'S RESTAURANT, FORK RESTAURANT, WESTIN HOTEL PHILADLEPHIA, DREXEL ATHLETICS, THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL PHILADLEPHIA, THE MANN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING
ARTS, THE PHILADELPHIA
SOUL ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE, THE TRINITY COLLEGE MEN'S SQUASH TEAM, MARY CROUSE, SHANE COLEMAN, BUCK ROGERS, SCOTT DEVOY, IMRAN KHAN, LOUIS RENZULLI, BRYAN PATTERSON, JOE RUSSELL, MIKE JEFFERYS & STEVE VIRGONA…. THANK YOU!!
Reaching the National Stage
10th-grader and West Philadelphia native Tempest Bowden became the
nation’s highest ranked Girls Under 17 African American squash
player and the first SquashSmarts student-athlete to qualify for the 2006 United States National Junior
Squash Championships (Gold Level).
The tournament, hosted by the USSRA and held at Yale University, showcases the
country’s top 32 players in four age categories. After earning a
state ranking of #11 through gritty performances at local and regional
events, Miss Bowden narrowly clinched one of the few remaining spots in
this year’s Girls Under 17 division.
When told by phone of her daughter’s achievement, Arnetta Bowden repeated the news over and over again
before finally exclaiming, "My Girl’s Going To A National
The GU17 draw featured perennial powerhouses Emily Park,
Natasha Kingshott, Julie Cerullo
and Cece Cortes. Tempest managed to avoid the top
four seeds but did draw #5 seed and Philadelphia native Hannah Conant in
her first-round match, followed by Philly neighbor Alexandra Glassman
in the consolation round.
Conant, who finished the season ranked 7th, and
Glassman, who finished 30th, may have ended Tempest’s run but both
players were gracious and skilled competitors who, coincidentally, both
volunteer with SquashSmarts!! At
only 15 years of age, Tempest closed out the season ranked an impressive
39th in the United
Accompanying Tempest to New Haven were sister-and-best friend Quinnetta Bowden, a 3-year veteran of the SquashSmarts
team, and program director Stephen Gregg.
extraordinary moment for a wonderful young girl,” says
Gregg. “This weekend was all
about the experience and triumph of being at Nationals. Next year, as she matures and channels
her energy, you’ll hear a lot more about Tempest Bowden.”
past NYC’s StreetSquash
The SquashSmarts middle school team, lead by Andrew
Hopkins, hosted New York rival StreetSquash in a duel match at the
University of Pennsylvania's Ringe Squash
Center. SquashSmarts players
included Mithun Das, Brittany Kennedy, Michael Baldwin, Devonte
Harris, Demonte Harris, Dewon Flythe.
StreetSquash brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm
but limited match experience. In the
end, the West Philly squad lost only one game in their 10-0 sweep of Harlem’s squash-trotters - an impressive feat
considering the SquashSmarts students started playing five months ago. After the match, both teams retired to Drexel University for a fun pizza lunch and
a tour of the SquashSmarts facility.
Special thanks Chris Tom and Claire Yunker
of StreetSquash and our faithful SquashSmarts fans Chase Lenfest, Dan Marut and Joe Battle.
Champion… Meet World Champion
SquashSmarts 10th-grader and Urban National Squash
Champion Tempest Bowden traveled to New
York City Thursday night to participate in a special exhibition hosted by
squash pro and founding SquashSmarts Board Member Ben
Desombre at the world famous Princeton
Club of New York.
Thanks to Ben’s special invitation, Tempest took advantage of
rare opportunities to practice with current World #4 Thierry Lincou and
speak with current World #1 Jonathan Power.
Both Power (Canada)
and Lincou (France) were in town prepping for the
PSA’s Tournament of Champions, held
annually in Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall.
believe it when Mr. Power told me he trained twice-a-day, six days a week.
That’s just crazy!”
Bowden poses with Jonathan Power (World #1) and has a hit on court with
Thierry Lincou (World #4).
SquashSmarts Squash Director Andrew Hopkins
made the journey with Tempest and shared this thought: “It’s
not often a young amateur athlete will have a chance to practice with - let
alone shake hands and have a laugh with - the number one in the world.
Squash has always been really special that way and I’m glad
that’s not changing.
On the ride back to Philly, Tempest turned to her coach and asked...
“Can I practice twice tomorrow?”…
Drexel Crowns It’s Own Squash
…Meanwhile, back at Drexel that same night, student freshman Auritrio Chaterjee was on his
way to earning top student honors in the 2006
Drexel Squash Championships.
Jointly organized by SquashSmarts and Drexel University,
the 64-draw, single-elimination tournament featured seven SquashSmarts
members and over forty Drexel students, faculty and staff making it the
most successful Drexel squash event to date!
2006 Drexel Squash
Championship – Results [PDF format]
Drexel Squash Championship participants
Boy’s Team visits SquashSmarts
Coach Christopher Smith and six of his nationally-ranked junior team candidates
lead SquashSmarts through a rigorous 2-hour
fitness and squash training practice Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania.
Squash Director Andrew Hopkins introduces U.S.
Junior Men’s Team Coach Chris Smith.
who doubles as a full-time staff member at SquashSmarts sister program
MA) was assisted by US #1 Trevor McGuinness and his teammates Todd Ruth, Todd Harrity, Chris Callis,
Chris Thompson and CJ Plimpton. All
shared valuable insights into what it means to be a top notch athlete, to
compete at the highest level, and to wear the “red, white and
SquashSmarts + Ben Franklin + ‘We The People!’
This event received coverage in the “Powelton
Post” newspaper of the Powelton Village
visit the Constitution Center & Franklin Exhibit.
Last week, SquashSmarts went In Search
of a Better World at the National Constitution Center
with 24 boys and girls from the West Philadelphia after school youth
program touring the world-premier Benjamin Franklin Exhibition created to celebrate
the 300th anniversary of Philadelphia’s
favorite founding father.
Jasmin, Kalik, Quinetta &
Tempest hangin with their founding fathers.
The collection of artifacts, documents and interactive
learning devices immersed our young students in Franklin’s own world, exposing them
to his ingenious problem-solving methods and leaving them inspired by his
example! Following the exhibit, the theatrical “docu-drama” and “audio-visual
tour-de-force” Freedom Rising helped the students re-examine and
re-define their role as citizens and their sense of civic
Grader Dewon Flythe
adds his "Dewon Hancock" to the
The historic morning was capped with a “taste of
Philly” as the team explored and dined in Philadelphia’s tastiest cultural
exchange… Reading Terminal Market.
Yawa and Jabria navigate Reading
Terminal and look for the "best buy".
Recent Squash Results
In their first taste of squash competition outside of
Drexel’s courts, SquashSmarts’ newest group of middle school
recruits (the Blue Team) battled their nerves and their talented opponents
at The Shipley School on Wednesday. Final
tally: 11-1 Shipley with SquashSmarts’ Jashan Johnson
capturing the group’s first “W”!
to shake hands, compete and smile!
In a more evenly balanced and equally hard-fought match
held at the Cynwyd Club, SquashSmarts’
middle school veterans (Red Team) took on second-year rival Lower Merion High School. Final score: 6-3 Lower Merion, with
SquashSmarts’ Junaid Bin Muhktar,
Sakora Miller and Mithun Das achieving
A Special Day at SquashSmarts
Service + Trinity Squash Team = Great
Way to Celebrate M.L.K.
Giving back to the community not only feels good, it's
part of SquashSmarts' most basic mission. Fourteen SquashSmarts students, lead
by Andrew Hopkins, spent the morning making pillows and quilts for West
Philadelphia’s nursing homes and shelters while seven teammates got
down-and-dirty with Julie Williams painting and sprucing up the West Philly
Center on 34th & Lancaster.
Students work hard in the morning... Play hard in the afternoon.
then returned to Drexel for a special practice with the 7-time National
Champion Trinity Men’s Squash Team. Paul Assaiante
and his squad of international and domestic superstars shared their love,
knowledge and passion for the game during six action-packed
"stations". Special thanks to our volunteers and boosters Joyce Davenport, Molly Pierce, Bob Partridge, David Kanthor, Amanda Cox, Vince & Trevor McGuinness and Dana & Rob Stewardson.
MLK Day Quotes:
“Now will never ever happen
again… Take advantage of the amazing moment that is NOW.”
- Paul Assaiante, Trinity Men's
Squash Coach & U.S.O.C. Coach of the Year.
“So what makes your Trinity Team so special?”
- Quinetta Bowden, SquashSmarts member and 9th grade student
"Everything we do is
for each other – we work, eat, get along, have fun, win and lose, and
play hard together. Trinity
does "TEAM" better than anyone else in the
country.” – Shaun Johnstone,
Trinity College junior and #1 player
was an Awesome experience”
– Dr. Robert A. Partridge MD, Sports
After five stations on the
court, SquashSmarts students got to interview Trinity players
at “Station #6”. The
fun, informative round table gave kids a chance to ask the nation's top
college players some of the really tough questions.
New Squash Director
SquashSmarts is pleased to
announce the addition of Andrew
Hopkins as its interim Director of Squash. Andrew joins SquashSmarts after spending
five years working for Merrill Lynch in New York City.
Andrew began his
collegiate squash career at Franklin & Marshall where he
played number nine for a squad ranked as high as 5th
nationally. In addition, Andrew was
a starter on F&M’s Varsity Lacrosse
team. After his freshman year,
Andrew transferred to The University of Pennsylvania where he lettered in
squash each of his three years, serving as a captain both his junior and
As SquashSmarts’ Squash Director, Andrew takes
great pride and enjoyment in fostering the development of our
student’s talents both on the court and in the classroom. A native of Boston, Andrew’s
credentials include: the completion of a half-Ironman (June 2005); varsity
squash team member and captain at the University of Pennsylvania; Franklin
& Marshall varsity lacrosse team member; college guidance mentor for “Minds
Matter” serving New York City youth.
brings tremendous experience, professionalism and warmth to the
program,” comments Director Stephen Gregg. “This is wonderful
news for our kids and is the perfect way start to kick a great new
To contact Andrew, or learn more
about volunteering with SquashSmarts, please call 215-895-4964 or send
Andrew an email at email@example.com.
$20,000 Challenge for
Matching Grant Provides New Donors With A Great
Now Through June 30, 2006
SquashSmarts is pleased to announce an extraordinary matching grant
of $20,000 made possible through The H. Chase & Ana Maria
Lenfest Foundation. Now through June 30th, every
gift made by friends and families who have NOT previously supported
SquashSmarts will have their donation matched dollar-for-dollar… up
to $20,000. Help is reach our goal!
Challenge Form - Click Here
Make Your Donation On-Line - Click Here
Please consider a contribution today to maximize your support and help
provide our kids with their very 'best shot' on the court and in the
classroom. For more information,
please contact SquashSmarts at 215-895-4963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
opportunities… Chase & Ana Maria Lenfest accompany
students to a Philadelphia
76’ers basketball game.
Making [Radio] Waves
Drexel’s Athletic Department today
unveiled a Public Service Announcement that will promote the SquashSmarts
after school youth program. The Service Announcement will air on Philadelphia’s WFIL AM-990 during forty-two Drexel men’s and
women’s basketball games.
“This comes at a great time for us and
will provide tremendous exposure for our mission,” says SquashSmarts
director Stephen Gregg. “Drexel Basketball has reached spectacular
heights on court, and we’re thrilled to be aligned with two such high
quality teams,” Gregg adds referring to the Drexel women’s
basketball team which recently earned their 300th career victory, and to
the men’s basketball team which garnered national attention during
their 78-68 loss to number one-ranked Duke University at the pre-season
N.I.T. in Madison Square Garden. “Drexel University
continues to be a key partner, and Drexel's student-athletes are excellent
role-models for our kids. It’s a perfect match.”
Catch the radio clip live on WFIL AM-990 during
each Drexel basketball half-time show, or listen to the clip HERE.
Special thanks to Drexel athletic director Dr. Eric Zillmer
and his staff.
United Negro College Fund
SquashSmarts students, staff and volunteers braved the cold and rain
Saturday morning to raise money for the Philadelphia Chapter of the United
Negro College Fund. More than twenty
SquashSmarts supporters – including stellar volunteers Joe Blancuzzi, Baird McIvain and
Shapley Stauffer – enjoyed the early morning walk along West River Drive
and raised $206 in support of the U.N.C.F.
This event was made possible thanks to Logan Capitol Management,
presenting sponsor for SquashSmarts’ Community Service activities.
Just how important was SquashSmarts’ participation in the
walk-a-thon? Carolyn Starling-Love of the U.N.C.F. writes: “Congratulations!! SquashSmarts
had the greatest number of walkers for the United Negro College
Area Office 2005 Walk-A-Thon. It was great having all of you with us for
the walk, and we look forward to sharing other events together!”
Member Named “Comcast MVP”
SquashSmarts’ Executive Director Stephen Gregg was recently
named Comcast SportsNet's M.V.P. of the Month.
Gregg and the SquashSmarts program were featured in a five minute exclusive
segment on Comcast Sports Network’s (CSN) SportsNite on Tuesday,
SportsNet’s M.V.P. award is given monthly to a person in the Delaware Valley
who has gone above and beyond to impact others' lives in the sports
community and who has made a difference in the community. Gregg is proud to accept the award on
behalf of the entire SquashSmarts Staff and Board of Directors.
SportsNite reporters interview SquashSmarts
students outside of the Drexel’s squash courts.
Logan Capital Management:
SquashSmarts is proud to announce its newest program sponsor, Logan
Capital Management, a leader in the investment advisory business. This
exciting new partnership will enhance SquashSmarts’ Community Service
program which provides between 300 and 400 hours of service to the local
Logan and SquashSmarts paired up in August for a professional photo
shoot at the Drexel
courts. The final product - which features the students and staff of
SquashSmarts alongside Logan Capital's management personnel -- is slated to
appear as a two-page color spread in the Academy of Music Annual
Ball fundraising brochure.
Inaugurated in 1957 and held each January, The Academy of Music
Anniversary Concert and Ball is a major annual event in Philadelphia and one of the most
successful fundraising events in the country.
Following the photo shoot, which was orchestrated by Square 2
Marketing, the SquashSmarts kids posed for a few more photos of their own!
CHAMPIONS AMONG US!
Twenty-four SquashSmarts students joined
200 of their peers from New York and Boston for the 3rd annual Urban Individual
National Squash Championships hosted by Groton
School in Groton, MA. Highlights from the event included a new
National Champion and much, much more!
Tempest Bowden, National Urban Squash
Competition - Champion, Girls Under17. Tempest
is SquashSmarts' first ever
national squash champion! She will attend
the Jonathan Power Dartmouth Squash Camp this summer.
Tempest Bowden – Girls U17 Winner
Lamin Conteh – Boys U13 3rd Place
Jasmine Wingate – Girls U15 3rd Place
Kareem Price – Boys U15 Main Plate Winner
Curtis Johnson – Boys U17 Consolation Winner
– Boys U15 Consolation Winner
The SquashSmarts Team, Special Thanks to David Kanthor
& Julie Williams, Amanda Cox, Tony Meyers, Vijay Chitnis
Directors Chris Smith, Stephen
Gregg and Peter Karlen.
2005 Urban Squash Nationals – Complete Results
9th Grader Marcedes Kennedy Wins National Urban Poetry Contest
an avid SquashSmarts member since 2002 and a 9th grade platoon
leader at the Philadelphia
was selected as the inaugural winner of the Urban Squash National Poetry
Contest (co-ed Under 17 age group).
Kennedy received her award for the poem “Who’s He”
at the Urban Squash Individual National Tournament in Groton, MA. Below is an excerpt from the poem:
“Find a person in your life… Who
Makes You Feel Pretty”
“Who likes to hear the tough of your voice… Better than his own”
SquashSmarts joined SquashBusters, StreetSquash, CitySquash and KidzSquash in honoring four winners and eight finalists
in the Under 13, 15, 17 and 19 co-ed age categories. Honorable mention went to SquashSmarts
team members Gina Lambert for “Dreams” (U13) and Jasmin Wingate for “Death” (U15): The
poetry contest was spearheaded by SquashSmarts staff member David Kanthor and will be held annually in conjunction with
the Urban Squash Individual Nationals to promote Academics and self-esteem.
Marcedes Kennedy reads her winning poem “Who’s He” to a crowd of
200 students and staff members. Kennedy was also a nominee for the 2005
Urban Achievement Award. She will attend the Princeton Squash
Middle School Graduates!
Five SquashSmarts team members held their heads high
this week as they took center state at their Middle School graduation.
Middle School: McMichael - Class Salutatorian!
High School: Girls High
Drew School – Physical Fitness
High School: Central
Midde School: McMichael
High School: Philadelphia
Midde School: Martha Washington
High School: Mastbaum
Midde School: Martha Washington
High School: Mastery
McMichael Salutatorian Quinetta Bowden shares words of wisdom with her class, including fellow SquashSmarts
teammate Toni Glover.
Kareem Price and Curtis Johnson celebrate
at Martha Washington.
Tyreek Davis shows his excitement after
winning Drew School’s Physical Fitness
with a Passion, for Kids!
The latest fashion craze emerged at the 2004 United
States Junior Open: the SquashSmarts star bracelet.
Designed, developed and marketed by 16-year old Sandra Mumanachit of Narberth, PA, the hip, red, round bracelets are etched with the
name of Philadelphia’s
first-and-only urban youth squash program, SquashSmarts..
The idea for the bracelets stemmed from the yellow
silicon ‘LiveStrong’ Lance Armstrong
version which has become a cult collectors’ item in recent months.
And like the Armstrong original, all proceeds from the SquashSmarts
bracelets benefited a worthy cause – the kids from SquashSmarts!
Of the 400 bracelets, available for $3.00/piece, all
sold out within a matter of hours. Sales were diligently handles by Sandra,
her sister, Sarah, and the four SquashSmarts team members (Tempest Bowden, Tyreek Davis, Rachel Edmonds and Kareem Price) who
qualified for the US Open. All made great effort to spread the newest fad.
With 500-plus players, coaches, and parents in
attendance at the Yale tournament, the captive audience at was hungry for
the hot item. “There were a lot of people there,” says Mumanachit “and so this project just made
All told, the 400 bracelets sold netted SquashSmarts
approximately $600 – and there are plans to produce a more of the
sold-out item for sale at future junior squash tournaments.
“We’re thrilled by the results,” comments SquashSmarts
Director Stephen Gregg. “and we are
extremely grateful to Sandra and her family for conceiving and managing
this whole project. Perhaps this kind of initiative might lead to more
creative projects by young SquashSmarts fans down the road!”
For more information on the one-of-a-kind SquashSmarts
star bracelet (available in small and large) please contact 215-895-4963 or
memo: star bracelets.
Wows Crowd at Doubles Exhibition & Auction
The key to doubles…partner selection! On December
9th, SquashSmarts paired with Cozen O’Connor, The Racquet
Club of Philadelphia and Freeman’s Auction House for the 2nd
annual Gary Waite Doubles Hardball Squash Exhibition and Live Auction.
A crowd of sixty, including fourteen SquashSmarts
students, gathered Thursday evening at the oldest doubles squash court in
the country to view four of the world’s most accomplished world
hardball doubles players
International Squash Doubles Association (ISDA) founder
and #1 Gary Waite (Toronto, CAN) paired with
local hero and RCOP pro Rob Whitehouse (East Falls, PA).
The talented two-some ultimately defeated their challengers which featured
8-time US National Champion Morris Clothier (New York, NY) and #5 ISDA
professional Josh McDonald (New York, NY) by a margin of three to one.
Between breaks in play, Jonathan Freeman of Freeman’s
Auction House (America’s
oldest operating auction house) called a shot-gun style live auction
featuring fine items from the Philadelphia
sporting and fashion worlds.
Before the exhibition, Mr. Waite took time out to teach and
share his skills, knowledge and passion for doubles squash with the eager
children from SquashSmarts.
Waite / Whitehouse defeated Clothier / McDonald (3-1)
Philadelphia Cricket Club Golf Foursome ($410)
Philadelphia Eagles Box Seats ($350)
Harrow Sports Pacakage
Philadelphia Phillies Diamond Club Seats
Zinman Fur Safari Vest ($230)
PHILADELPHIA CRICKET CLUB
SQUASHSMARTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Verdi DiSesa, Colin Gray, Stephen Gregg, Mike Halpert, Thomas Harrity, David Kanthor,
Edward Noll, LeAnne Lindsay, Andrew Purcell, AnneMarie Pyne, Peter
Schreiber, Julie Williams
Learn more about the SquashSmarts program, our model and
our vision. Click here.
SquashSmarts inaugural Embrace Camp, America’s first-and-only
youth camp to combine intensive squash instruction with community service, was a huge success. For information or a
brochure, please contact email@example.com.
Appoints new Squash Director
SquashSmarts is pleased to welcome David Kanthor as its new Squash Director. David grew up in Rochester,
NY and attended Haverford College
where he played four years on its Men's Varsity Squash team. He then was awarded a Masters Degree in
community Planning from the University
of Baltimore, with
his course of study focused on community advocacy. David will coordinate the community
service programs to complement the Squash Director duties he will fill.
Executive Director and Academic Director Named
SquashSmarts is pleased to announce that Stephen Gregg
has joined the organization as its new Executive Director and Julie
Williams as its new Academic Director.
Gregg served the past four years as the Director of Junior
Development for the United States Squash Racquets Association. “We are thrilled and fortunate to
recruit a talent like Steve” remarked Vincent McGuinness,
President of the SquashSmarts Board
of Directors and a Senior Member at Cozen O’Connor law offices in Philadelphia.
Gregg, a four-year varsity squash member of the NCAA
Division 1 Trinity Squash Teams and an active member of the PSRA and the
Racquet Club of Philadelphia, welcomes the new challenges directing
SquashSmarts: “I look forward to guiding this program, which is well
known in the Philadelphia community, to expanding and servicing more
children in our area, and to forging new relationships with businesses and
individuals in our region. The
opportunity this presents is both intriguing and exciting. I was greatly impressed by the
Board’s commitment to the program, and am anxious to carry on the
outstanding tradition created by [former Executive Director] Julie
SquashSmarts, currently based at Drexel
University, is working with other
local groups with plans to build an eight court facility in the Hunting Park
section of Philadelphia. Joining Gregg will be Williams, who was
appointed the new Academic Director of the program.
New SquashSmarts Center at Drexel!
SquashSmarts and Drexel
University partnered to create an
academic-office-technology space in the Daskalakis Athletic
Center where the program
is currently held. One of Drexel’s six squash courts has been
converted into a classroom to house six students and six tutors at
individual study stations with computers. Office space for
SquashSmarts’ staff is also included as part of the plan. We are
seeking financial donations as well as donations of reference books and
literature. Follow “News” here for the opening date of the SquashSmarts Center”.
SquashSmarts thanks the Philadelphia Squash Racquets Association
(PSRA) for hosting the Spring ’04 Fundraiser at the PSRA’s Awards Dinner and Doubles Finals. Held at
the Philadelphia Country Club, SquashSmarts raised over $8,000 in one