Through travel, competition, mentoring and the nationwide Urban Squash family, Mission Squash scholars are given access to unique networks of opportunity.
Private and Independent High School Placement
More than 80 private high schools have squash teams. Many of these schools are ranked within the top 100 schools in the nation academically. At many, full scholarships covering tuition and living expenses are available to students demonstrating exceptional academic and athletic ability.
As of 2018, 216 urban squash students have attended private, independent and boarding schools including:
Avon Old Farms, Beaumont, Berkshire, Blair, Breck, Brimmer & May, Brooks, Canterbury, Cate, Choate Rosemary Hall, Concord, Cristo Rey, Dana Hall, Eaglebrook, Episcopal, Friends Select, Fryeburg, Garden Street, Hackley, Hotchkiss, Indian Mountain School, Laguna Blanca, La Salle, Lake Forest Academy,
Loomis Chaffee, Mercersburg, Millbrook, Milton, Miss Porter’s, Mount Carmel, Noble and Greenough, Riverdale, Pomfret, Portsmouth Abbey, Salisbury, Seven Hills, St. Andrew’s, St. George’s, St. Josephinium, St. Paul’s, Suffield, Tabor, Taft, Hill School, Trinity-Pawling, University Liggett, Westover, Williston Northampton.
See Full List>>
Our own Lead Squash Coach, Santiago Moran, grew up as a member of the CitySquash program in the Bronx, NYC, and through his program obtained full scholarships to attend Avon Old Farms school, and then Connecticut College. Read his story>>
Attendance at one of these schools not only guarantees students the most rigorous education possible, but the overall richness of experience and networks students gain access to makes them more socially mobile, acting as a springboard for college acceptance and further scholarship.
How Private School Placement Works
The process begins indirectly for most students early on in their Mission Squash career. Many of our mentors, board members, volunteers and staff attended schools in the list above and so awareness of high school opportunities begins to form through introductions, trips, national competitions, summer camps, visits to Mission Squash from admissions tutors, and networking with other urban squash students at our sister programs around the country.
Students showing exceptional academic and athletic ability are then invited in 7th Grade to consider taking part in the Private High School Placement program. Student families are involved at an early stage, as the process requires full support from parents to be successful. While private school opportunities are available in Houston and elsewhere in Texas, the majority of high schools with squash teams are located in the Mid-west or North East regions.
Once families are committed to the expectations of the program, a family contract is signed and Mission Squash begins providing the dedicated resources and networks necessary to help students prepare, apply and enroll at one of these prestigious schools. This is an intensive process consisting of many hours of additional academic work above and beyond normal program expectations, and so is not suitable for all students regardless of ability.
What We Provide
- SSAT (Secondary School Aptitude Test) preparation materials including print and online resources
- Dozens of hours of intensive SSAT Prep
- SSAT fees
- Summer Camp Placements at target schools
- Direct advocacy for individual students with Admissions Directors
- Mock interview facilitation
- Parent meetings/workshops
- Transportation to and from SSAT testing centers
- Assistance with Financial Aid applications
- Assistance with essays, recommendation letters and middle school transcripts
- Continuing support for accepted students, including regular phone calls, visits, and check-ins with school staff
Placement services are provided by trained program staff and typically supported by scholar mentors and volunteer tutors. We leverage our local networks of donors and board members, many of whom attended one of these schools, to facilitate introductions with school admissions staff and support the application process.
Students placing to schools with a squash team are expected to play squash at their high school, and when they return on vacations, participate at Mission Squash by volunteering on court or in academics.
Our fundamental program objective is for all scholars to graduate high school and enroll in a four-year college degree of labor market value, thereby drastically increasing their future economic potential, breaking the poverty cycle and increasing social mobility.
College awareness starts early in scholar’s careers, with local and national college visits, workshops, visits from admission staff, and ongoing advocacy and guidance from staff, mentors and volunteers. Most national squash competitions are hosted in conjunction with Ivy League or NESCAC schools, all of which have squash teams.
Although squash is one way to enhance our Scholar’s resumes, the emphasis remains on academics. Students participate in academic programming of increasing intensity during high school, where additional support, grade tracking and accountability year-round becomes particularly important. At this time we also introduce College-specific programming including:
- College Finance Family Workshops
- College Selection Workshops
- Intensive SAT tutoring
- Mock Interviews
- College campus visits
- Parent meetings/workshops
- Assistance with FASFA
- Assistance with essays, recommendation letters and high school transcripts
In contrast to many youth development programs, support for students enrolling in College doesn’t stop once they start attending – and in fact the first year of college can be the most critical in terms of preventing college drop-out. Mission Squash Staff and mentors stay in close touch with graduating students throughout their college career, with regular check-ins, continued councilling and provision of books and supplies.
As scholars progress through the program, we help them create a rich network of career guidance and opportunity.
Careers support is built into our enrichment calendar during Middle School, and becomes more specific during and post-High School. Programming includes:
- Exposure to multiple career options through workplace visits and activities with mentors, board members or affiliate organizations like JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Amegy Bank, Novum Energy and more
- Mock Interviews
- Resume Writing
- Careers Awareness programming in the classroom
- Careers Assessments and Councelling
- Access to national camps and careers tours