Racquet Up Detroit Youth Program Launches Expansion and Facility Project
Nonprofit to build new 19,000-square-foot facility in northwest Detroit to increase access to its educational and youth development programs
Racquet Up Detroit announces today its expansion to a dedicated new facility in northwest Detroit which will serve as the hub for the organization’s youth development program. With an emphasis on educational attainment, physical fitness, wellness and college and career preparation, Racquet Up is poised to have a significant impact in the community for decades to come. Construction of the new facility has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Racquet Up Detroit recently celebrated 10 years of success in engaging youth and families through its comprehensive and long-term, out-of-school program. The 25-year track record of Racquet Up’s sister programs across the country inspires additional confidence in the approach. The racquet sport of squash is the hook when participants begin in 5th grade, but intensive educational and personal support carry kids through many years, across high school graduation and into college and careers.
“After 10 years, we have a lot to celebrate – our students are truly inspiring, with 100 percent of our first three classes of students earning high school diplomas and admission to college, and the vast majority of them on track for college degrees or viable careers,” said Derek Aguirre, executive director of Racquet Up. “Their successes fuel our ambition of supporting more youth and families, and doing everything we can to promote the future of Detroit.”
The program currently serves over 100 students from five partner schools in northwest Detroit, and the new 19,000-square-foot facility will allow Racquet Up to expand its services to more than 200 students. Featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, a college and career center and world-class squash courts, the new headquarters will serve as a neighborhood portal to opportunity, and a point of pride for the entire region.
“From the fun my son had in this program with mentors, coaches and tutors, to the massive academic and character benefits he experienced, Racquet Up Detroit has exceeded all of my expectations,” said Tina Perkins, whose son Trevone is a Racquet Up Detroit student participant. “Racquet Up has become family to us, opened Trevone to opportunities, and supported us from 5th grade to his current studies at Specs Howard School of Media Arts.”
By expanding to the new facility, with six educational spaces and eight squash courts, Racquet Up Detroit will have the capacity to:
Double enrollment in the eight-year education and youth development program
Partner with more neighborhood schools (in addition to its five existing school partners)
Expand its college access and career development programs to twice as many students
Provide youth with greater access to the sport of squash, a highly effective vehicle for fitness, character development and travel opportunities
Offer new health and wellness activities to youth and families
Host world-class squash events
Establish powerful community partnerships
The facility project and the program draw support from a broad range of individuals, corporations and foundations. Leading contributors to the facility include the following organizations: The Shelden Fund, the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation, the McGregor Fund, the Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation, the Elaine Stern Foundation and the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation.
While construction is already underway, Racquet Up Detroit will soon hold a socially distanced groundbreaking event to celebrate the launch of this next chapter. More information and updates can be found on the organization’s social media pages: Facebook (@rudetroit), Instagram (@racquetupdetroit) and Twitter (@detroitsquash).
Additional contributions are needed to complete the capital campaign. To learn more about the new facility or make a donation, please click here.