January 2, 2016

Service Projects Empower Urban Squash Students to Help Their Communities

Racquet Up students Jaz’mene, Amina, and Raqiyah helped plant trees with the organization Greening of Detroit.

Community service is at the core of the urban squash model, as programs aim to develop citizens as well as student-athletes. Collectively, programs organize over 200 community service projects a year, giving over 10,000 hours to their communities. Through their work, students bond together, and gain confidence as they realize how they can help their communities. Capitol Squash Executive Director Meg Taylor noted that community service activities provide “an opportunity for students to give back to their community, while also learning about social issues and civic duty.”

SquashBusters Lawrence students outside CorUnum

SquashBusters Lawrence students outside Lawrence’s soup kitchen CorUnum

One community service outing that particularly spoke to SquashBusters Lawrence’s students was at a local soup kitchen, CorUnum. The children had the chance to meet and talk to those coming in and felt the weight of their work when friends from their community came in as well. “It really drives the ‘give back to your community’ message,” said Executive Director Dora Lubin. MetroSquash reported that they used community service for “empowering students, making them aware of their own potential to impact their community.” Projects where students interact with and directly serve people from their community align perfectly with that goal.

Squash Haven discussed how “whether in the short or long term, directly or indirectly, the benefits of helping others and developing empathy are immense.” Steel City Squash students, in collaboration with the American Red Cross, crafted holiday cards for residents at their local VA hospital. These direct acts of kindness and giving show students their potential to positively impact the world.

SquashSmarts student Christian at Cradles to Crayons, an organization that provides living essentials to low-income and homeless youth

NUSEA is proud of its programs for the hard work and dedication they show to their students and communities. They prove everyday how they help elevate their societies through building character. If you know of a program or initiative urban squash students could help at, please reach out by sending an email to julie.monrad@squashandeducation.org.