SquashSmarts, the Philadelphia youth enrichment program, celebrated its VIP Night at the 2023 U.S. Open Squash Championships.
More than four hundred-and-fifty SquashSmarts staff members, students, parents, donors, advisors, and board members attended the SquashSmarts VIP Night at the Open. Steve Gregg, the executive director of SquashSmarts, and Quinetta Bowden, SquashSmart’s senior program director and a SquashSmarts graduate, welcomed the large crowd at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center.
Bowden thanked the entire SquashSmarts family, saying they were proud to work with 160 girls and boys in fifth to twelfth grades, 157 alumni graduates, 636 community members and two facilities—the Lenfest Center in North Philadelphia and the Specter Center. She thanked the parent community, teachers and school staff, board of directors, advisors, committee members, corporate and foundation partners, public officials, friends, donors and partners and volunteers who work every day to provide year-round intensive programming at SquashSmarts.
Gregg, who has been the executive director at SquashSmarts since 2004, saluted the hardworking, supportive staff which gathered on court with him. They included directors of academics, squash and fitness, transportation, community, development and administrative. Sixty percent of SquashSmarts’ staff are SquashSmarts alumni.
Founded in 2001, SquashSmarts has just begun its twenty-third season. A 501(c)3 non-profit, SquashSmarts is an award-winning, free, intensive, out-of-school academic and athletic mentoring program changing the lives of Philadelphia’s public-school students. Students are recruited in middle school from Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, Neuva Esperanza Academy Charter, Science Leadership Academy, Carver School for Engineering & Science and Overbrook Educational Center. The program’s students attend practices three days a week for seven years and then maintain a deep relationship after they graduate from high school.