A Year of Firsts!
November 2018 – Two of our very own students Natalia O’tero and Julio Barahona won their very first US Squash Tournament at Nobles Bronze.
December 2018 – We welcomed our new sixth grade class from DelSesto Middle School. Twenty-two students were recruited based on their work ethic, character and passion for the program.
January 2019 – We kicked off the new year with a trip to New York City to attend the professional squash event, the Tournament of Champions. One of the biggest tournaments on the professional squash tour, students were exposed to amazing squash and were able to meet top players from around the world, including Diego Elias, Camille Serme and Karim Abdel Gawad.
March 2019 – Sixteen students traveled to Yale University to compete in our very first Squash and Education Alliance (SEA) Urban Team Nationals Tournament.
April 2019 – SQB Providence partnered with Providence Parks and Recreation for a community service project with Madewell jeans. Students collected used jeans, which were then donated to Madewell and turned in insulation for houses of people in need.
June 2019 – Williams College hosted the SEA Urban Individual Nationals. Sixteen SQB Providence students competed against players from all over the country and the world, including New York City, California, and even Colombia.
With our first full program year complete, we are thankful for the students and families who have made a commitment to our program, our partners at DelSesto Middle School, Moses Brown and the Nicol Squash Club, and our supporters in the greater Providence community. We are looking forward to squash-filled summer!
Community Partnerships: Edesia Nutrition
Soon after opening the doors at SquashBusters Providence, we began to explore Rhode Island-based non-profits to partner with for community service projects. We were interested in finding an organization that would align with our mission and vision around giving back to our community, and a collaborative partner that we could both learn from and grow alongside. Luckily we didn’t have to look very far to find Edesia, an incredible company founded in 2010 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Navyn Salem. Navyn also happens to be the wife of SQB leadership council member, Paul Salem, so she had a deep understanding of SQB’s mission and goals. Navyn created Edesia after seeing a segment about a “miracle cure” for malnutrition on 60-Minutes. Edesia’s mission is to help treat and prevent malnutrition in the world’s most vulnerable populations through the delivery of ready-to-use foods (RUFs), delivered from their factory in Rhode Island into the hands of malnourished children all over the world.
For the past two summers, SquashBusters has taken approximately 40 students to the Edesia Nutrition factory in North Kingston, RI for a tour and information session. During our visits, students have had the opportunity to try the signature Plumpy’Nut product, to witness the factory’s state-of-the-art robot, Lucy, in action, and to hear testimonies from some employees who are refugees hailing from countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone.
This December , SquashBusters students collaborated with the Moses Brown high school squash team to package over 4,000 RUF packets. Unlike most of their products which are exported out of the U.S. to developing nations, the packets our students created contained a new formula used to prevent malnutrition in health clinics right here in Rhode Island, thus allowing our students to directly give back to the local community.
As a result of our partnership with Edesia, we have been able to provide our students with meaningful, impactful service projects and have developed our students into informed citizens about the world-wide issue of malnutrition. We are incredibly grateful for the partnership between SquashBusters Providence and Edesia, and are excited to expand our collaborative work in the years to come!
Our First-Ever SquashBusters Providence Rumble was a Smashing Success!
SquashBusters Providence hosted its very first fundraiser, the Bank of America SquashBusters Rumble, in January. Four teams competed against each other through a full day of squash to a packed house of over 200 spectators. They were able to learn about the SquashBusters program, watch some amazing squash, and hear from SQB seventh grader, Kealie Burt. This event welcomed top current and former pros such as Nour El Tayeb, Arthur Gaskin, Nick Matthew, and Todd Harrity. We appreciate everyone who was involved and came out to support us and help us raise more than $270,000. These funds are critical to SQB Providence operations and help us provide opportunities such as trips and tournaments to our students.
Summer at SQB Providence
The school-year may be done, but SquashBusters continues to be in full swing for the summer. Many students are attending camps or traveling around New England and around the country.
- SQB Summer Road Trip – Eleven middle school students will travel with staff to Washington DC, exploring New York City , New Jersey, Philadelphia along the way!
- SQB Summer Slam- SQB Providence students will be joined in Providence by their peers from SQB Lawrence for a two week squash camp.
- Squash Camps – Two students will be attending squash camp lead by former pro and Director of Infinitum Squash, Nick Taylor at Deerfield Academy. Two other students will travel to California for a week for squash training, lead by former pro Mark Talbott, one of the top Hardball Squash Players at Stanford University. Both opportunities will allow our students to improve their squash skills while exposing them to new people and places.
- A group of boys will have the opportunity to Westend House for summer camp.
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