The start of a new decade brings exciting changes to StreetSquash, including a new tagline for the organization.
Our mission at StreetSquash has always been clear – to provide consistent, long-term, and reliable support to the children, families, and schools in Harlem and Newark. Over the years, however, our strategy for achieving that mission has evolved, adapting to best meet our students’ changing needs and interests. We can always find ways to do better here at StreetSquash, and we have a responsibility to our students, their families, and our communities to do just that.
With this attitude of constant improvement in mind, we sat down at the dawn of this new decade with the hope of answering one important question: What has been our key to success for the last 20 years?
Our takeaway? It is best summarized by our new tagline – “Reach High. Follow Through.” Let’s take a closer look at what those four words mean in the world of StreetSquash.
The first half of our new tagline comes from mission of helping students push limits and reach for the stars. As mentors to our participants, we hope to guide all of out students toward achieving their aspirations, and to reinforce that making your dreams a reality starts with self-belief.
Equally as important, the phrase “Reach High” borrows from our programmatic philosophy, namely our REACH Values. These values are a set of core characteristics we hope all StreetSquash participant and staff members live by, and the acronym stands for:
It was an easy choice to feature REACH in our new tagline. These five values have served us well in the past; they offer us opportunities to have serious conversations with our students, to reflect on our programming and make improvements, and to ensure we help our participants find and become the best versions of themselves.
Even during StreetSquash’s first days back in 1999, we knew that following through was critical to not just victory on the courts, but also key to our long-term success as a program.
Without follow through, our best ideas remain just that: ideas. Our ability to take action and create change is a big reason why StreetSquash has been able to establish a 100% high school graduation rate, and a 97% matriculation rate to post-secondary programs. Follow through is how our students have gone on to achieve amazing results as alumni, and follow through is how our program will continue to strive for excellence moving forward.
Every day, we do our best to instill in our students the idea that persistence is key to unlocking their futures, whether that comes in the form of filling out your planner every day or being accountable to your teammates during practice. We have seen this mentality pay off time and time again, and it was important to us to highlight our commitment to the phrase “Follow Through” as a part of our new tagline.
In many ways, our tagline is nothing new to StreetSquash. We have always set a standard for reaching high – we challenge our students every day to never settle and to set goals. Likewise, we have always been extremely committed to following through – achieving those goals does not happen without follow through, and we have never been ones to shy away from hard work.
That said, we are excited to roll out our new tagline, as we believe that taking the time to establish these values as a part of our organizational identity only makes it easier for us to uphold them for many more years to come.
“Combined, reach high and follow through represent what I envision for each of our students – that they never set limits on what they imagine for their futures, and that they feel capable to go after and achieve their dreams.” – George Polsky, Executive Director
As a member of the StreetSquash community, we hope you join us in helping our students reach high and follow through, and maybe you will even find new ways to embrace these qualities yourself. Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we explore what “Reach High. Follow Through.” looks like in action for our students and staff.