Karina Smoot is one of Mission Squash’s three graduating seniors this year, and she’s been a part of the Mission Squash family for six years. On top of qualifying for Nationals in 2020, she is a stellar student who is graduating a year early and already has acceptances from many prestigious colleges around the country.
Karina said that she’s always had fun being a part of Mission Squash, but that it wasn’t until high school that she became very serious about the sport. Since then, she and her teammates have gotten closer, sharing common goals and commitments to the sport and the program.
The same year that she entered high school, Karina made the decision to graduate early because the credits that she had earned throughout middle school facilitated that transition. Karina said that, as soon as she informed the Mission Squash team of this goal, they all rallied behind her decision and did their best to support and guide her.
“Anything you say you want to do in Mission Squash, they will help you with that,” she said. The Mission Squash team supported her wholeheartedly from the jump, getting her a college advisor, an ACT tutor and consistent ACT tutoring. She attributes much of her success in college admissions to the proactive guidance that Mission Squash gave her.
When COVID-19 first hit, Karina said everything shut down except for Mission Squash and its dedication to its scholars. “Mission Squash was the one thing you could count on in COVID which was really great because you are really lacking a community and Mission Squash has never failed to provide that for me.”
Karina talked extensively about how close she is with her teammates, celebrating Easter and Christmas together and hosting them at her house. “My teammates are literally like a family,” she said. “There’s no club or program that provides you with the family that Mission Squash has provided me and I’m just really grateful for it because I really love everybody there.”
Karina is looking forward to beginning college this coming fall studying political science with a concentration in biology. Although she remains undecided about which college she will attend, she has her sights set on a college with a squash team in order to continue to surround herself with more like minded students.
“Joining Mission Squash,” Karina said “is quite possibly the best thing I ever did.”