StreetSquash was founded in September 1999 as the second urban squash program in the United States. A comprehensive youth enrichment program, StreetSquash combines academic tutoring, squash instruction, community service, college preparation, leadership development, and mentoring for young people ages 11-24. What began as an after-school program with 24 middle school students and 2 staff members has expanded to serve 400 participants from 6th grade through college graduation and entry into the workforce.

For the first nine years, StreetSquash ran programs all over New York City: study sessions and squash practices at Columbia University, the Harvard Club, and the Westside YMCA; college prep and literacy enrichment at Thurgood Marshall Academy; squash matches and cultural exposure all throughout the five boroughs.

Then, in November 2008, StreetSquash opened a permanent home at the SL Green StreetSquash Center with 8 ASB squash courts, 4 classrooms, a library, and the organization’s administrative offices. This new facility allowed for the creation of the PE in Public Schools Program as well as a new relationship with Columbia University, as the home courts for the Men’s and Women’s Varsity Squash teams.

In 2012, StreetSquash expanded to Newark, New Jersey, to extend StreetSquash’s model of long-term intensive support to children in Newark public schools. The program is the first and only squash and education organization in the state. Daily sessions are run out of the Newark Y, the YMCA of Montclair, the Montclair Salvation Army, and Drew University.

Why squash?

Founder George Polsky always says it could have been anything, but squash is the sport he plays. Squash is the hook to entice students to join the program. The real work is in the classroom, preparing students to succeed in college and as young adults who give back to their communities.