Summer Experience

Travel is an integral part of Steel City Squash and this summer was one of our most packed seasons yet.

Steel City Squashers have been busy travelling the country this summer for both squash and academic programs. Jonae, a rising 8th grader, was awarded a scholarship from SEA to spend 5 weeks at Taft, a boarding school in Connecticut, for their Young Scholars program. During her time at Taft, Jonae got a feel for the college life, living in a dorm with a roommate, being responsible for time management, receiving counseling from an academic advisor and taking two 100-level classes as well as two 200-level classes.

Daquan, Lourdes, and Julian, all rising 7th graders, were accepted into FAME Academy through SCS’s partnership with the program. FAME is a 3-year college preparatory program for African American middle school students with limited financial resources. The program seeks to provide rigorous supplemental academic instruction in order to prepare students for admission into partnering independent high schools such as Sewickly Academy, Winchester Thurston, St. Edmund’s Academy, The Ellis School, Shady Side Academy, Western Reserve Academy and the Kiski School. This summer was the first of three 6-week summer programs that these students will participate in through the coming years and concluded with a week of classes at the boarding school Western Reserve Academy, located in Hudson, OH.

On the home front, Amari, a rising 9th grader Amari, as well as rising 7th graders Jelani, Quincy, Maurice and Julian participated in programs at The Neighborhood Academy (TNA), which keep students engaged academically through the summer and prepares them for coursework in the fall. SCS’s partnership with TNA has helped these students thrive in their academic programs and we look forward to building that partnership over the coming years.

Students have been equally busy travelling for various squash events this summer. Rising ninth graders Mikayla and Amari were chosen for this year’s Deerfield Squad, a 4-day squash intensive held at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts for some of the top players in urban squash. The camp was directed by the former associate head coach of Yale’s men’s and women’s squash teams, Pam Saunders, which both won National Championships during her time there. Over 90 players from the urban squash community were nominated for this program and only 35 accepted!

Julius, a rising 5th grader, as well as Da’Nerah, De’Aysia, and Mya, all rising 6th graders, went to Kenyon College in Gambier, OH for this year’s Midwestern Championships, hosted by SEA. This was Julius’ first squash tournament ever and he got 2nd place!

Vaughn, a rising 9th grader and current #1 on the program ladder board, participated in Princeton’s week-long tournament training session (which he asked if he could do again next year) and Namell, a rising 8th grader, spent a week playing squash and getting to know fellow urban squashers in Philadelphia at the Embrace Camp, hosted by SquashSmarts.