supported program: Access Youth Academy

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The haudenschildGarage supports the non-profit Access Youth Academy. Access Youth Academy is a youth enrichment program serving underprivileged students from the San Diego area. The program is based on three major pillars: academic tutoring, squash instruction, and community service. Founded in 2006 by Greg Scherman and Chris Walker (former #4 squash player in the world), Access Youth Academy was in full force by August 2007. All activities in this unique program are held at San Diego Squash.

The Access Youth Academy at the 2011 Best in the West squash tournament

Students playing at the San Diego Squash Club

Access Youth Academy goals are to:
– Teach students to take responsibility for their actions and choices
– Help students appreciate and enjoy physical activity
– Develop students sense of good sportsmanship on and off the squash court
– Promote understanding and friendship between people of different backgrounds
– Engage students in service projects that help their community.

The program initially started with 18 students in grades 6th through 8th. This current academic year, 2009-2010, we have enrolled 40 students in grades 7th through 10th. The students attend The Preuss School, a charter school on the UCSD campus. The students will commit to the Access Youth Academy program 2-3 times per week for 3 hours per day. During this time they will be engaged in academic tutoring as well. The community service part of the program will be held on selected Saturdays. Some examples of community service projects include distributing food and clothing for homeless shelters, cooking and enjoying time with elderly, and playground and beach cleanups. All court time, squash instruction, tutoring, athletic equipment, transportation, and field trips are provided free of charge to Access Youth Academy team members. In return, the program requires of its participants regular attendance at practice and a commitment at all times to try hard, to respect fellow team members and to take school as seriously as sports.

To learn more about Access Youth Academy or to donate, please visit: www.accessyouthacademy.org

Students at the 2011 Best in the West squash tournament

Students at the 2011 Best in the West squash tournament