SquashBusters Grows To Serve More Students, Cities

SquashBusters is entering its twentieth year with plenty of exciting plans on the horizon. From a potential partnership with the Moses Brown School which would bring the program to Providence, Rhode Island; to the 10th Annual SquashBusters MFS Derby to raise funds for the program in Boston, we're excited to see what 2016 has in store. Read about what's been going on at SQB in this update!

SquashBusters & Moses Brown Teaming Up in Providence

Moses Brown Quaker LogoSquashBusters Square

Last month, the Boards of Directors for both SquashBusters and the Moses Brown School in Providence signed a Memorandum of Understanding indicating their intent to build a 12-court squash facility on the campus of the Moses Brown School. The vision for this facility is as a double home – for a growing Moses Brown squash and fitness/PE program and for a new SquashBusters Providence program, which at full capacity, will touch the lives of 100 Providence 6th-12th graders. The preliminary drawings have been completed by CBT Architects and they offer a promise for the growth of squash, educational opportunity and volunteerism throughout the City of Providence.

Moses Brown and SquashBusters are ideal partners. Both the school and the youth program are founded upon the same core values of integrity, caring for others, hard work and community engagement. As a Quaker School and a 232-year-old educational institution, the school has invested itself in the betterment of thousands of young people’s lives as well as the larger Providence community. SquashBusters, for its part, is entirely motivated by the goal of using squash, education and meaningful human relationships to change the lives of less-advantaged urban youth. SquashBusters was founded in Boston in 1996 and expanded to Lawrence, Massachusetts in 2012. SquashBusters is the model upon which 19 other urban squash programs have been developed.

With a broad agreement in place to make this vision a reality, SquashBusters and Moses Brown must now work together to secure the necessary fundraising, develop final architectural plans within the proposed budget, and gain zoning approval from city officials. Steady progress here is already in the making, but a great deal more support needs to be secured for this facility to break ground. Moses Brown and SQB will also sharpen our pencils with the building design, meet with community members and city officials to discuss the project and begin thinking about school partners from where the initial SQB Providence students will come. SQB Providence, which will be built in partnership with the highly-regarded Moses Brown School, is a tremendously exciting opportunity for our organization, one which we hope to realize sometime during the 2017-18 program year. For more information, please contact Greg at g.zaff@squashbusters.org.

 


 

26.2 for SquashBusters!

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For the first time, SquashBusters has teamed up with John Hancock for two entries into the 2016 Boston Marathon. Our inaugural runners are Julie Shea and Jon Barry, two avid athletes running Boston for the first time, and they couldn’t be more enthusiastic about their commitment to run on behalf of SquashBusters.

Julie Shea photo (2)

Julie Shea

For Julie, Senior Associate of Investor Relations at Root Capital, the Boston Marathon is a poignant reminder of everything she loves about Boston and she is thrilled to be running for SquashBusters: “It’s really inspiring to see an organization so committed to changing the lives and the paths of young students who might otherwise not have access to opportunities for continued education.”

Jon, a Senior Analyst at Back Bay Life Sciences, first connected with SQB as a volunteer when he was in high school. When the opportunity came up to combine two of his passions – running and squash – and reconnect with the program, he didn’t hesitate to get involved. “I’m humbled, honored, and excited to be one of two runners on the first team SquashBusters has fielded to raise funds through the Boston Marathon.”

Jon Barry photo cropped

Jon Barry

We are so grateful to John Hancock for the opportunity to raise critical funds through the Boston Marathon, and to Julie and Jon who have signed on for months of grueling training and a commitment to raise a minimum of $5,000 each in support of the program. To help propel them across the finish line, visit the links below. And don’t forget to cheer on our runners on April 18th as they make their way from Hopkinton to Copley Square!

Click here to support Julie Shea.

Follow this link to support Jon Barry.

 

 


SquashBusters Family Continues to Grow, Adding New Teams in Boston and Lawrence

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Boston 7th graders Fernando & Paula at Urban Team Nationals this January with academic program manager Ali.

SquashBusters is excited to announce that the official rosters have been finalized for the newest teams in Boston and Lawrence. SquashBusters staff, volunteers and supporters are so excited to welcome more than fifty young people to the SquashBusters family.

In Boston, 35 seventh-graders were selected for the Boston 2021 team after a long and exciting tryout process. The final team was narrowed down from an applicant pool of more than 90 students. This year, SquashBusters partnered with several new middle schools for recruitment efforts. The Rafael Hernández School, Joseph Lee Elementary School and Codman Academy Charter School joined longstanding partners Timilty Middle School and John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science in bringing the opportunity to learn squash to their students. The seventh-grade team is made up of students from all five schools, as well as Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy and Boston Latin School.

Boston 2021 students were notified that they’d officially made the team on November 16, and were thrilled to receive new squash gear, courtesy of Black Knight, and participate in “T-Week,” where they met fellow, more seasoned SquashBusters participants, who shared some advice about squash, school and making the most of this awesome opportunity.

Lawrence sixth graders (L to R) Saggarah, Raudy and Gabriel

Lawrence sixth graders (L to R) Saggarah, Raudy and Chris L.

Up in Lawrence, 18 sixth graders have made the Lawrence 2022 team. The students, representing the Arlington Middle School and Emily G. Wetherbee School, were officially welcomed into the program at the Thanksgiving Potluck Event with friends and family.

In both cities, new students filled vacant spots on the upper level teams, bringing our total enrollment to more than 200 – a record-breaking number in SquashBusters’ two decades.

Congratulations to our newest SquashBusters recruits for joining this tight-knit community. We are so excited to see you grow as players, students and people. Welcome to the team!

 


 

SQB MFS Derby 2016  Derby

May 6-7, 2016

Mark your calendars for the 10th running of the perennial MFS SquashBusters Derby!

Join us in celebration of SquashBusters 20th birthday and the power of squash and education to change lives.

If you might be interested in joining our illustrious race as squash player and SquashBusters fundraiser, please contact Greg Zaff.

 

 


 

BBJ 40 Under 40 for 2015 Share Wisdom With SquashBusters Students

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40 Under 40 speakers Kevin Bitterman, Margot Bloomstein, Andrew Gallinaro, Christina Qi, and Rachel Rosenblum with SQB students after the professional development event.

Last month, five honorees of the Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 visited SquashBusters to talk with students, share personal stories, and offer advice for our students as they think about their own futures. Guests spent an hour talking with 65 seventh, eleventh, and twelfth graders about everything from setting and achieving goals to their experiences in high school and college to working through struggles as part of a team.

When asked about how he got to where he is today, Andrew Gallinaro, Director of Asset and Property at National Development, stressed to students the importance of having goals and being open-minded about what might come their way. Like many of our students, Rachel Rosenblum, who is Vice President, Clinical Program Design and Business Development at New England Baptist Hospital, was the first in her family to go to college. She spoke about being well rounded and having the drive to keep learning how to do things better. Margot Bloomstein, founder of brand and content strategy consultancy Appropriate, Inc., remarked about the importance of building strong relationships and Christina Qi, co-founder of the hedge fund Domeyard, named diversity in the workplace as one of her top values as a leader. When asked what the best part about his job was, Kevin Bitterman told students that at the venture capital firm Polaris Partners, his job is different every day, and that’s what keeps it fun.

Opportunities to hear from and network with professionals of all backgrounds in a variety of different fields are invaluable to students at SquashBusters – the kindness and words of wisdom from the 40 Under 40 honorees reinforce the message to students that they too are capable of achieving their dreams if they set goals and work hard. During closing circle after the event, SQB 11th grader Brianny Pujols thanked the five guests for coming and said “talking with you made me realize that even at a young age, I can do anything and that one day I can have a real impact in this world too.”

 

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