Contrary to popular belief,
the "American Dream" isn't actually available to all.

We were all born
into systems that
are designed
to keep us where we are.

1. Society is increasingly unequal
13% of Americans are living in poverty.
In Houston, it's 22%.
Of those, 95% did not attain a bachelor's degree.

US Census, 2016
2. Mobility is increasingly difficult
The probability of a child born into a family in the lowest economic quintile of the population making it into the top quintile by adulthood is less than 10%.

Chetty, 2014
3. Society is increasingly individualistic
By interacting only with those who are like-minded, we as a society become quicker to judge and more hesitant to compromise.

LaChance, 2014
4. Wellness is an ongoing challenge
Approximately half of American adults (that’s 117 million people) currently have preventable chronic diseases related to poor diet and physical inactivity.

Whoriskey, 2015

So we find new ways to

Disrupt the dynamics
that have made opportunity networks inaccessible to all
but a select few.

"Urban Squash" is:

a

95 %
of urban squash students graduate to college
$ 25 m
in college scholarships won by urban squash students
2000
students enrolled
annually

... with a

  • Squash is played by over 10 million people across 180 countries
  • In the US, the sport has strong ties to top-tier educational institutions, including the Ivy League and private boarding high schools. More than 80 US colleges have squash programs
  • The sport is played extensively by graduates and professionals - including in Houston - providing unique access to resources, expertise, mentorship and support
  • It's easy to pick up and impossible to put down! As well as being addictive, the sport demands exceptionally high levels of physical conditioning and athleticism

... and an impact

$ 17 m
invested in urban squash students annually
162
students placed at
Private High Schools
25
urban squash programs around the world from NYC to India

... it changes

It reinforced for me how favorably Urban Squash programs stack up in terms their effectiveness in altering the course of young people’s lives.

Our Mission

Mission Squash empowers children from Houston’s underserved communities to activate their true academic and personal potential, and achieve their dream of a college education.

Our Vision

A Houston where all families have equal access to opportunity.

Our Program

Mission Squash recruits students from Houston’s underserved communities and functions as the pivot point in their life trajectory.

Starting in middle school and extending through college graduation, Mission Squash “Scholars” make a seven year commitment to attend 200 hours of tutoring sessions and practices throughout the school year: after school, at weekends and for much of summer.

Students volunteer in their communities and travel to colleges and cities across the country to study and compete. They receive regular guidance and support from mentors drawn from Houston’s professional community.

The program operates from our purpose-built squash and education facility, built within a public middle school in 2015 in the Houston Heights – the first of its kind in North America. Practice takes place daily, and Scholars enrolled at nearby High Schools are brought to program via the Mission Squash Shuttle.

Four Walls Mean Freedom

Our primary program components are known as the “Four Walls of Freedom”: the four walls of the squash court that appear at first to confine, are later shown to be the catalyst for opportunity.

Academics

Equipping to end the achievement gap

Squash and Athletics

Vehicle for discipline, wellness and disruption

Mentoring

Common bonds that nurture personal value

Access

Hand placement in opportunity networks

Our Goals

We equip every child who becomes a Mission Squash Scholar in sixth grade with the tools and networks they need to activate their true academic, physical and personal potential, succeed in high school, and graduate college in four years with a degree of labor-market value.

Ambition

We create a focused, college-bound culture and provide access to unique networks of opportunity

Objectives

➔ 100% of long-term program participants graduate high school

➔ 90% of participants enroll in - and complete - a four-year college degree of labor market value

➔ Through exposure to unique educational and professional networks, Scholars become more socially mobile

Wellness

We provide a safe, structured space outside school hours that promotes lifelong study, exercise and nutritional habits

Objectives

➔ Scholars achieve demonstrable improvement in aerobic and anaerobic fitness measures annually

➔ Scholars develop the independent exercise, study and nutritional habits necessary to live a healthy and fulfilling life

➔ Reduced probability of future physical and mental health issues, and increased life-expectancy compared to similiar demographic groups

Character

We nurture the growth of children into well-rounded adults equipped to lead

Objectives

➔ Reduced delinquency, school drop-out and overage versus comparable peers

➔All Scholars develop and exhibit the social-emotional skills required to thrive in higher education and employment

➔ All Scholars are given opportunities to develop leadership skills through peer mentorship

Our Impact

16% higher English grades

average annual improvement
8pp higher than comparable peers

28% fewer school absences

than comparable public school peers

10 Years

longer life expectancy than peers
based on VO2 max proxy testing

3,000 hours

academic and squash instruction delivered

$1.5 million

funds raised since 2015