20th Anniversary Leadership Conference

After a welcome address by NUSEA Board Chair Bill Simon and NUSEA Executive Director Tim Wyant, conference attendees listened to Reyna Pacheco tell her “urban squash story” and recollect her journey from Access Youth Academy to Columbia University. SquashBusters founder Greg Zaff and SquashWise Executive Director Abby Markoe led a discussion on the mission of the urban squash movement and were followed by an in-depth look at measuring program success by Julie Greenwood, Derek Aguirre, Terence Li, Chris Lynch, George A. Haggarty – the executive directors of Squash Haven, Racquet Up, and CitySquash, the COO of SquashBusters and the Racquet Up Board Chair respectively. Morning sessions concluded with a fundraising presentation by Access Youth Academy Board Chair Blair Sadler and an alumni panel led by Assumpta Galang, StreetSquash’s Director of College Access and Success that featured five graduates of urban squash programs across the country.

Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp addressed the conference in an inspiring keynote speech that recognized the challenges in urban education while highlighting the optimism present in our work. Kopp was followed by MetroSquash Executive Director David Kay and board co-chairs Jackie Moss and Bill Wardrop in a presentation on their $8 million dollar campaign. The informative panel described their efforts to build an eight-court academic youth center on Chicago’s South Side that will open its doors in April. The conference concluded with an international spotlight on Squash Urbano Colombia, urban squash’s new program in Cartagena. Executive Director Esteban Espinal and Board Chair Diana Gomez Kopp explained the launch of South America’s first urban squash and education program and invited all guests to join the inaugural NUSEA Leadership Retreat in Cartagena this August.

Thank you to all speakers, panelists, presenters, and attendees who helped make the Leadership Conference a valuable and productive day of learning.