RUD LAUNCHES NEW EDUCATION AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Racquet Up Detroit has launched a dedicated, world-class 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.
Racquet Up has built an 18,000 sq ft facility, which includes 3 state-of-the-art classrooms, a college and career center, and the largest squash court center in the Midwest. This project will make it possible for many more youth – approximately 200 per year – to access Racquet Up’s program, which has been proven to help students to graduate from high school and access college. Four cohorts of students have completed the 8-year youth program and graduated at a rate of 100%.
Derek Aguirre, Executive Director of Racquet Up Detroit, said: “Our new facility will be a game-changer for kids, and it could not be more timely as we all try to move forward from the pandemic. We have demonstrated that our program can support students to succeed academically and access life-changing opportunities. From our new, permanent home, we will provide this support to thousands of youth and their families over the decades to come.
We are deeply grateful to the many donors who have made this project possible, and we look forward to collaborating with our neighbors and partners across the region to build paths toward college and career for our kids.”
Racquet Up’s new facility is located at 6530 W. Outer Drive, Detroit. The facility project and Racquet Up’s program has drawn 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, the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.
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 its 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 serve 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