From earning standing ovations to helping their college squash teams to victory, our alumni have been busy showcasing all that makes them amazing.
We know just how special and talented our alumni are, but we relish any opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with our larger communities, too. Last month, we checked in with a few of our alumni at their college campuses (read more in our blog post, Photo Recap: Top 10 Pictures From Recent Alumni Visits!). Since then, our alumni have continued to work hard and see their efforts pay off.
Check out some of the amazing things our alumni have been up to recently.
Rakey Drammeh, Class of 2010, gives keynote speech at Squash and Education Alliance (SEA) 25th Anniversary Jubilee
In early January, SEA brought together members of the global squash and education movement in celebration of the organization’s 25th Anniversary. As part of the Jubilee’s program, StreetSquash alumna and board member, Rakey Drammeh, Class of 2010, was honored as a keynote speaker. The event was an amazing opportunity for Rakey to share more about her chosen path, and to reflect on how her involvement in StreetSquash helped shape her goals and trajectory in life. Rakey’s speech covered many aspects of her life, from her parents’ immigration to the United States to her own experiences as a college squash player and coder in New York.
“SEA introduced me to a world that I had not ever imagined knowing or being part of. But more than that, it gave me the tools to pick and choose my way to exist in that world at large. StreetSquash taught me how to make choices and how to become myself as an individual in an ever-complicated global environment. It taught me confidence and self-advocacy.”
– Rakey Drammeh, Class of 2010
Rakey’s speech brought the entire 1,200-person crowd to its feet, further solidifying the impact of her story and StreetSquash’s role in the broader SEA network. While StreetSquash is just one part of Rakey’s dreams becoming reality, we hope the skills she learned in our program helped guide her on her path to success. We could not be more proud of all that Rakey has accomplished, and the positive impact she has had on the squash and education world.
Watch Rakey’s entire speech here.
Zeinab Bakayoko, Class of 2019, helps Trinity topple Columbia
After graduating from high school, StreetSquash alumna, Zeinab Bakayoko, Class of 2019, matriculated to Trinity College, where she competes on the Women’s Varsity Squash team. In January, Trinity faced off against Columbia at the SL Green StreetSquash Center, which is home to Columbia’s varsity squash teams.
While our allegiance typically lies with the home team, we could not help but root for Zeinab. StreetSquash staff, students, and alumni all stopped by to show their support. It was a highly competitive match-up, but Zeinab took home the W and helped push Trinity to a 7-2 victory. It was heartwarming to watch Zeinab compete in the environment where her squash career first started, and the victory was well-deserved.
Prior to Zeinab’s homecoming on the StreetSquash courts, she also had the opportunity to speak at the 7th Annual ToC Women’s Leadership Award and Luncheon. The event was hosted at the Yale Club as part of January’s JPMorgan Tournament of Champion festivities, and held in support of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
During her speech, Zeinab reflected on her own experiences as a woman in sports, and how other female athletes have helped shape her into the competitor she is today – including her former mentor, Joanne Schickerling, Columbia’s Associate Head Coach.
“As my coach and mentor, Joanne taught me what it means to be a female athlete and to never give up on my dreams. She reminds me to stay true to myself, to face my fears head-on, and to believe in my strength and power.”
– Zeinab Bakayoko, Class of 2019
Alumni come together for Career Night with CitySquash
On Wednesday, January 8th, our College Access, Success, and Alumni Support Department hosted another StreetSquash Career Night, this time geared toward alumni who are soon to enter the workforce.
This Career Night was organized in partnership with our local SEA sister program, CitySquash. Nearly 20 alumni from both programs had the opportunity to connect with professionals from a wide range of industries, discussing potential career paths and jobs. The event was tailored to the professional fields our alumni expressed interest in, including law, finance, journalism, and healthcare. On a very special note, some of our older alumni participated in Career Night as professionals – a full-circle moment for our program.
Career Nights are an important component of StreetSquash programming, as they help us deliver on our mission of supporting all students along their chosen post-secondary paths. Events like Career Night offer safe, inclusive spaces for our students and alumni to explore different job opportunities, meet new people, and practice networking.
“If you don’t feel comfortable networking, that just means it’s something you can learn. Career Nights give us the chance to practice networking and improve our professional skills. ”
– Bryttany Ewers, Class of 2017
See more photos from our latest Career Night here.
There is perhaps no better feeling than watching our alumni find success in life, using the resources we offer to help make their dreams come true. If you are looking for more ways to support our alumni as they prepare to enter the workforce, consider becoming a host for our new summer internship placement program. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.