Six members of the Squash Urbano Colombia programme have been accepted into prestigious US schools to continue their academic studies as the programme continues to display success both on and off the court thanks to the hard work of the programme’s staff and board members.
Squash Urbano Colombia was founded in 2014 in Cartagena with the mission to provide life-changing opportunities to youth from low-income families in Colombia through education, mentoring, and the sport of squash.
For their 50 plus team members, Squash Urbano Colombia is an intensive year-round commitment beginning as early as elementary school and extending through to university graduation.
Six days a week, Squash Urbano Colombia team members engage in three hours of squash practice, English classes and academic sessions. Team members also participate in tournaments, trips, enrichment workshops, and community service events.
One of their star pupils, Valeria Osorio, became the first Squash Urbano Colombia student ever to be awarded a scholarship at a top-tier boarding school and then a place at Wesleyan university in the USA last year.
To learn more about Valeria’s journey, watch this video below created by the PSA Foundation
Five other students have also been sent to US boarding schools since then, with Santiago Meza recently joining Dailyn Simancas in gaining admission to the Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Connecticut. Julio Palomino is studying at Westminster School, while Montserrat del Mar is at Westover School, both in Connecticut. Kendry Navas is at Tabor Academy in Massachusetts.
Squash Urbano Colombia encourages their young members to dream big while providing individual support to help them overcome adversity and achieve their full potential as athletes, scholars, and human beings.
On the court, the programme’s members have also enjoyed success. One team member, Dailyn Simancas, won a bronze medal when they represented the Colombian Junior National Team at the South American Championships in 2019, while the programme won the 2019 Urban National Teams Middle School Girls Championships.
Squash Urbano Colombia also boasts winners in the boys under 11, under 13 and under 14 Urban National Individuals Championships, while five of the programme’s members have competed at the US Junior Open Championships.
Squash Urbano Colombia Executive Director Esteben Epinal says that both the members and staff of Squash Urbano Colombia have had a positive impact on each other.
“Many times we highlight and talk about how we are changing lives, and its true, but is also true that the kids and families from Squash Urbano have change my life and the lives of our staff members and closest supporters,” he said.
“I truly believe that thanks to the programme we all are better people.”
Nearly every day of the year, you can find Squash Urbano Colombia team members working up a sweat on the squash court before studying hard to improve their English in class. Volunteers provide immense benefit to their student athletes through conversation practice with English speakers, court time with squash players of all levels, support in the classroom and relationship building.
If you are interested in supporting SUC in its mission to provide life-changing opportunities, please contact Squash Urbano Colombia at firstname.lastname@example.org