Vassar Quarterly - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
Kate Frost '11 , who joined Seattle urban Squash in 2016 as its
academic director-she's now program director-says she was
inspired to pursue a career in urban education after taking her
first education course with Professor Chris Bjork.
Hope Blinkoff '10, co-captain of Vassar's women's squash team
in 2010, joined SquashWise in Baltimore as an AmeriCorps
volunteer shortly after she graduated from Vassar. Now deputy
executive director, she's seen quite a few participants go off
Samuel Stuart Photography
into our programs in a serious way and that's
something that obviously resonates with
Mitch Truwit '91, a former Vassar squash
captain and Chairman of the board of
StreetSquash, says some of their graduates
have gone on to become top college athletes.
He's always pleased when one of the players
from the program qualifies for national
competition, but he quickly adds, "That's not
the primary goal. The goal is to start our kids
on a lifetime of achievement."
Katie Siegel '06, Director of Operations
at StreetSquash of Harlem and Newark
Does StreetSquash deliver results?
The numbers are certainly impressive. One
hundred percent of the program's alums
have graduated from high school, 96 percent
go to college. (Sixty percent of those hail
from families whose members have never
attended college before.) Moreover, 86
percent of those currently enrolled in college
are on track to graduate on time.
Harlem resident Mawa Bollo, a junior
at Connecticut College, is part of that 86
percent. A political science major and a
member of the varsity squash team, Bollo
says StreetSquash has played a major role in
her success. "Katie Siegel was my first squash
coach, and I still stay in touch with her," she
says. "Another coach is now in law school and
I stay in touch with him, too. They are two
of the most important influences in my life."
Siegel says there are many ways to measure
how much StreetSquash is influencing the
youngsters it serves. She sees one sure sign
every week. "On Friday nights when I kind
of want to get home for the weekend, I have
to kick them out," Siegel says. "They don't
want to leave."
VA S S A R Q u A R T E R LY