SQB Lawrence Looks Back and Looks Forward

A Note From Our Program Director

SquashBusters Family,

We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. On March 12th, with the health and safety of our students and community in mind, all three SquashBusters sites made the decision to shut down all programming. While we are not running our typical programming at Brooks and Phillips, our commitment to the students and families we work with has not diminished. At least twice every week we are in touch with every students, checking in on mental and physical health, and ensuring students are on top of schoolwork while at home. This, in addition to regular communication with families, teachers, and our community partners is helping us determine the best ways we can continue to serve our student population during this period of quarantine.

With the safety of our students and families foremost in our minds, we will continue to follow the recommendations of local and federal health authorities regarding a return to programming. Regardless of when we can return to normal programming, SquashBusters Lawrence will continue to dedicate our time and efforts to serving our 120 youth in the city in the best way we know how. For now, enjoy some highlights from the winter months.  We hope we’ll have more to add before too long.

Sincerely,

Andrés Burbank-Crump
Program Director, Lawrence


A Busy Summer to Look Forward To

For the past 5 years, the Squash and Education Alliance (SEA) has been partnering with private schools and universities around the country to provide scholarships for intensive, high quality summer education programs. SEA serves 23 member programs, which together provide academic opportunity and health and wellness to over 2500 young people. This year SEA partnered with 13 private schools and universities to provide 60 scholarships for summer education. Five students from SQB Lawrence were nominated to compete for these scholarships. They spent long hours working on applications and crafting their essays, with no small amount of help from the SQB staff. Congratulations to the three Lawrence students who were granted scholarships –

Adrian Diaz , 9th grade, will be attending Summer@Brown at Brown University
Nuelly Silva, 10th grade, will be attending Andover Summer at Phillips Academy Andover
Orfi Cortes, 7th grade, will be attending Taft Summer School at the Taft School in Connecticut

We are so excited for them and these new opportunities!


SQB Lawrence Gives Back

Developing compassionate and engaged young citizens is the heart and soul of SquashBusters Lawrence. Each year we work hard to expose our students to community service projects and public service agencies with different missions, each striving to make a difference on an individual level and in the community at large. This year alone, SQB Lawrence high school students worked alongside thousands of fellow volunteers at the city’s annual Spicket River Cleanup, and they worked together to maintain the cleanliness of the Ferrous Park, Immigrant Place Park, and O’Neill Park.

During February break (which seems like a life-time ago), students had the opportunity to serve meals to those less fortunate at the city’s well-known meal center, Cor Unum. Cor Unum first opened its doors in September of 2006 with a mission to eliminate hunger every day. The agency has become admired by city residents. It successfully served over two million meals in its first decade, and is striving to beat that record amount in its second. Eager to be a part of the vision, SquashBusters students used their service opportunity to welcome guests, place meal orders, distribute food and beverages to tables, and wash and sanitize eating utensils. Keep it up SQB Lawrence!


A Slamming Squash Season

Until the quarantine, SQB students were fully immersed in the squash season with many, many opportunities! SQB Lawrence traveled to Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and all over Massachusetts to compete. The middle school team faced many tough competitors and some notable teams including SQB Boston, Portland Community Squash, Rectory, Eaglebrook, Lawrence Academy, and Nashoba Brooks. The team did not get the wins they were hoping for, but they enjoyed the travel, camaraderie, and competition. Students also took part in a number of US squash tournaments this year. A highlight was INFINITUM Bronze, where eighth-grader Maria Munoz finished second in a pool of 16 girls.

We were fortunate to be able to attend our biggest tournament of the year, the SEA Urban Team Nationals (UTN), which took place in March shortly before the quarantine began. UTN was hosted by Yale University and Choate Rosemary Hall. SQB Lawrence brought 25 eager students, who joined more than 75 other SQB students from Boston and Providence. UTN was a great opportunity for our students to hang out with each other on and off court and staff welcomed the chance to to bring students together to foster team culture and team bonding.

The high school girls and boys competed in the A draw and each finished in the top 5. The middle school team competed against teams from across the country including, Connecticut, Chicago, New York, and Baltimore. Rounding out the weekend the middle school girls finished fourth in the competition and were excited to be one of the few SquashBusters teams to play in the Sunday playoffs. A huge thanks to SEA for providing this opportunity for our students to explore the world of squash, deepen their connections as a team, and make friends with other students from around the world.