BALTIMORE SQUASHWISE INC

Academics, Athletics, Opportunity

aka SquashWise   |   Baltimore, MD   |  www.baltimoresquashwise.org

Mission

SquashWise is a long-term support system creating opportunities for aspiring Baltimore youth. By using squash as a motivator, we help students realize their academic, athletic and personal potential. We ensure that each student graduates from high school prepared for their next step – ready to excel in college and continuing education, as well as in the workplace. We use a goal-oriented approach to match students to post-high school education and career placements that fit their readiness and interests. Students join the SquashWise family in middle school, and we continue supporting them as they achieve their educational, athletic, and career goals.

Notes from the nonprofit

SquashWise is a second home and an extended family for our students. We hope you will choose to join our family as a donor, volunteer, or mentor!

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Abby Markoe

Main address

2801 Sisson St. Suite 100

Baltimore, MD 21211 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-2194077

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SquashWise fills significant gaps in academic enrichment, healthy recreation, and college/career preparation for students in Baltimore City, where outcomes are notoriously low. Less than 75% of Baltimore City students graduate high school, and only 52.3% enter college within 24 months (MSDE). Health assessments show 26.5% get no exercise in a given week, and 30% experience at least two Adverse Childhood Experiences (MDOH, BCHD). More than half of SquashWise students live in significantly disadvantaged neighborhoods in Central/West Baltimore (e.g. Southern Park Heights), where 15%-35% of families live below the poverty line, and only 15.9% of adults have a Bachelor’s degree (BNIA). Our multidimensional youth development model combines tutoring, mentoring, college/career exposure, squash and fitness, service learning, and summer programming to equip students for success in high school, college and career, with continuous support from Grade 6 to age 25.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SquashWise Program

Academics, athletics, and college/career readiness for Baltimore City Public School students.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

SquashWise works with our high school graduates to ensure college and career success, supporting them with college and career advising through age 25.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Young adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Member, Squash + Education Alliance 2018

Awards

Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award 2016

Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of first-entry undergraduate program students who identify themselves as 'visible minorities'or 'non-white'

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

SquashWise Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

# of graduating high school seniors who enroll in college.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

SquashWise Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

# of middle and high school students enrolled in our Out-of-School-Time program

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Vision: To instill a life-long commitment to educational improvement, personal fulfillment, and public contribution in aspiring Baltimore youth through academics, squash, and wellness activities.

Through our long-term program combining academics, athletics, social/emotional development, and mentoring, our aim is that all students will graduate from high school prepared to succeed in their post-secondary placements.

SquashWise is an innovative youth development program that offers aspiring Baltimore City youth year-round academic support and enrichment, safe recreation and regular fitness activity, college and career preparation, opportunities for personal development, and long-term social support. Our middle and high school programs serve a total of seven cohorts (Grades 6-12), plus a growing number of alumni. We sustain continued engagement with our students, starting in their 'rookie' year in middle school: we facilitate their placement and transition to high schools across Baltimore; guide and support their academic, athletic, and personal growth throughout high school; provide intensive assistance with post-secondary planning and college access; and see them through their college and career journeys (to age 25).

Our program combines tutoring, squash coaching, fitness, college/career readiness, and social-emotional development throughout the entire school year, and for five weeks each summer in our full-day camp. Students attend 2-4 sessions per week, depending on their age group. Academic sessions consist of homework help, literacy, study skills, SAT/ACT prep, college and career counseling, plus enrichment (health and wellness, growth mindset and goal-setting, leadership development), cultural exposure (field trips and events), and service learning. Squash sessions consist of fitness, drills, and competitive match play. Beyond the classrooms and the squash courts, students travel all over the country for camps, college visits, tournaments, and squash training, giving them a sense of curiosity about the world beyond their neighborhoods, and developing their confidence to be away from home.

SquashWise has successfully provided high-quality Out of School Time programming and a long-term support system for Baltimore City youth for more than a decade. We strive for continuous improvement, and have purposefully expanded and enhanced our capacity over the years in response to the emerging needs of our students and families. (See 'Progress' below.)

Our staff are experienced and highly qualified, and we support each member of our team in pursuing ongoing professional development in their domain areas (e.g. teaching, squash coaching, youth development, non-profit management). Our Executive Director and Program Director have served SquashWise for 11 and 10 years respectively, and led the organization through dynamic growth and expansion. We seek out and employ best practices in youth development, share knowledge with other youth-serving organizations, and use a variety of evaluation methods (formal and informal, internal and external) for program improvement. We earned a rating of "Strong" at our most recent program quality review by the Squash + Education Alliance (squashandeducation.org), of which we are a member.

SquashWise has an active and dedicated Board of Directors, a cadre of committed volunteers (tutors, mentors, coaches), and a generous community of supporters. We have developed a robust network and strong working relationships with schools, universities, community organizations, enrichment programs, and squash and fitness institutions, which have become programming partners and referral sources for students and volunteers. Our highest priority strategic goal is to establish our own facility, with the dedicated classrooms and squash courts needed to increase our capacity for student enrollment.

High School Placement: Attending an academically rigorous high school lays a strong foundation for post-secondary success, and SquashWise works closely with our 8th grade students and parents to access the best fit school for their college and career goals. Over the past four years, we have increased the percentage of students accepted to high schools with entry requirements by 10% (Class of 2020 - 71%, Class of 2023 - 81%).

College Matriculation: To date, 84% of SquashWise graduates have matriculated to college, in comparison to just 52.3% of their peers in Baltimore City (per MSDE Report Card data). We provide intensive, hands-on assistance with all aspects of college access: campus visits and school selection, financial aid and scholarship planning, application, enrollment, and transition. Our alumni have earned over half a million dollars in financial aid, and attend McDaniel College, the U.S. Naval Academy, UMBC, Loyola University Maryland, University of Baltimore, Lycoming College, CCBC and BCCC. Our first alumna graduated with her Bachelor's Degree from McDaniel College in Spring 2019.

Support & Wellness: SquashWise is far more than a sports team; we are a second home and an extended family for our students. Beyond enrichment sessions on healthy activities (e.g. nutrition/cooking class, family fitness classes), we integrate 'growth mindset' practices throughout all aspects of our program. Long-practiced in athletic training, research by Carol Dweck has shown that bringing 'growth mindset' language in the classroom prepares young people to demonstrate greater curiosity, attempt challenges more boldly, and take setbacks as an opportunity to learn.

High Performance Team: Despite never having heard of squash before joining our program, many of our students advance to take part in regional and national championships. Throughout the year, students compete in matches against local school teams and peer programs in the Squash and Education Alliance (SEA) network, and in tournaments sanctioned by U.S. Squash and SEA. Students must maintain a minimum GPA and program attendance rate to be eligible for formal competitions, many of which offer inspiring travel opportunities and often include an immersive experience in the life of a college athlete: practicing in the athletic center, sleeping in the dorms, and eating in the cafeteria. Our High Performance Team, launched in 2016, provides the opportunity for our highest-potential players to further evolve their skills through extra weekly practices with focused coaching by our Squash Director, special clinics and training squads, and additional tournament entries.

What's Next: Until now, we have only been able to accept new students into our middle school program. Our next phase of development involves creating a new recruitment pathway for Baltimore City public school students to join our high school program, with a pilot planned for Academic Year 2019-2020.

Financials

BALTIMORE SQUASHWISE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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BALTIMORE SQUASHWISE INC

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sage Platt

Platt Development Group

Nancy Cushman

Meadow Mill Athletic Club

Douglas Hoffberger

Keystone Realty Company

Hugh McGuirk

T. Rowe Price

Sage Platt

Platt Development Group

Bill Durden

Shorelight Education & Johns Hopkins University

Denise Galambos

Exelon

William Krulak

Miles & Stockbridge, PC

Peter Heffernan

Meadow Mill Athletic Club

Jacob Himmelrich

Access Industries

Owen Knott

Doug York

Carey Fetting-Smith

Hampstead Hill Academy

Jessica Levin

T. Rowe Price

Wayne Park

T. Rowe Price

Julia Keelty

James Meek

Graystone Consulting, Morgan Stanley

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No