31 Urban Squashers Win Summer School Scholarships to Exeter, Taft, Choate, Miss Porter’s, and Lawrenceville

2015 Taft Summer School attendees with NUSEA staff members, Tim Wyant and Alana Lerner

2015 Taft Summer School attendees with NUSEA staff members, Tim Wyant and Alana Lerner

With partnerships with Lawrenceville, Choate Rosemary Hall, and Miss Porter’s School, NUSEA has secured thirteen new scholarships for urban squash students to attend multi-week summer academic programs at Northeastern boarding schools. These thirteen scholarships are in addition to the eighteen spots already designated for urban squash students at summer academic programs at Phillips Exeter Academy and The Taft School. In total, thirty-one academically-accomplished students from urban squash programs will attend overnight academic programs this summer through NUSEA partnerships. A national application process was managed jointly by NUSEA and its school partners, and students were selected based on academic accomplishment and program recommendations.


2015 Exeter Summer School attendees on their first day

The first summer school partnership was formed in 2014 with Phillips Exeter Academy. “We felt it was integral to our mission,” said NUSEA’s executive director Tim Wyant, “to provide more educational opportunities to our students in the summer, and Exeter generously stepped forward as NUSEA’s first summer school partner.” NUSEA’s summer school scholarships aim to provide urban squash’s highest-achieving students with an intensive learning opportunity through which they can also get a glimpse of the private school experience. In the 2014-15 school year, fifty-five urban squash students attended private school full time, and seven of those students had previously gone to school school at Exeter or Taft.

In 2015, NUSEA board member Drummond Bell spearheaded the start of the organization’s partnership with Taft Summer School. “I believe in NUSEA and what the Taft experience can do for young people from around the country that care about their education,” said Bell.

NUSEA’s most recent summer school partner is the Lawrenceville School, a selective boarding school in New Jersey, which includes a full day of academic classes, afternoon recreational electives, nightly community activities and weekend trips to New York City, Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore.

Jeff Laikind, a.k.a. "Mr. Choate," created the partnerhship between NUSEA and Choate Rosemary Hall

Jeff Laikind, a.k.a. “Mr. Choate,” helped create the partnerhship between NUSEA and Choate.

NUSEA’s partnership with Miss Porter’s was sparked through varsity squash coach and English teacher, Sarah Odell.  Before working for Miss Porter’s, Odell volunteered at StreetSquash Harlem. “Gloria Steinem, said that ‘our girls are studying their absence,’ meaning they don’t see women in leadership roles in government or business.” said Odell. “I think for young women of color, they especially are studying their absence, which is why getting them involved in Porter’s Leads is especially important.”

The NUSEA-Choate partnership was formed with the help of Jeff Laikind, who is dubbed “Mr. Choate” by some from his alma mater in Connecticut. Laikind is also a member of NUSEA’s International Board and the former chair of StreetSquash in Harlem. Sending urban squash students to Choate in the summer brings together two of Laikind’s  passions. “It’s a two-way street. I think it’ll be an extraordinary experience for the students. I think it will be extraordinary for Choate,” said Laikind.”

NUSEA seeks to create more summer school opportunities for our students. If you or someone you know would like to get involved, please email info@nationalubansquash.org.