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Squash Empower , an urban youth development organization, seeks to combine the sport of squash with academic tutoring and mentoring for under-served, disadvantaged youth in the District of Columbia. We aspire to develop positive self-esteem and discipline through academic, athletic and personal achievement.
Our youth development model is broken down into four distinct areas: physical activity, academics, mentoring and service learning. Each young person involved with Squash Empower receives the same programming to achieve our intended outcomes. A brief synopsis of each component is provided below:
After a brief warm-up and stretch, youth are paired with a volunteer coach who teaches them about a particular aspect of Squash per lesson. The instruction ends with the opportunity for each young person to apply their learning to an actual game situation. Sessions include a circuit fitness program to improve general fitness level.
Twice per week, Squash Empower youth receive one and a half hours of tutoring that focuses on homework completion, conceptual understanding, concentration, preparation, organization, and time management. This is done on a 3:1 youth to teacher ratio.
Mentors complement the program by providing additional individual attention to a young person. Youth meet with their mentors twice per month for one year and participate in a range of activities including visiting museums, sporting events and other cultural activities.
Through service learning, Squash Empower youth become involved in volunteerism activities within their communities. Youth are provided opportunities to research areas/issues they deem problematic and address them. This includes, letter writing campaigns, community awareness festivals, and urban renewal projects. By participating in service-learning activities, we hope our young people develop a greater passion for their community and build advocacy and leadership skills from a grassroots level.
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