WHAT WE DO
Racquet Up Detroit is an out-of-school program providing intensive, the long-term support to Detroit youth. The program promotes their education, health & fitness, and character development through the provision of academic tutoring, squash coaching, and youth development services.
Students enter in the 5th grade and continue through high school and college graduation. This duration of support – up to 12 years – is unprecedented, but necessary. For many participants, the path to college or other post-secondary educational opportunities is challenging. The approach requires at least three days per week with each child outside of school, for three hours each time, including equal parts academic enhancement and athletic development using the racquet sport of squash.
Students volunteer in the community through service projects. They visit Detroit’s cultural amenities, tour colleges, and travel to squash competitions throughout the Midwest, Canada, and the East Coast. Academic support is a mainstay, with literacy development, homework help, and supplemental tutoring at the core of the program. They work on fitness and learn about nutrition, while also learning about conflict resolution and the value of a team.
Racquet Up is focused on helping young people to develop in three main areas: education, health & fitness, and character. The impact of our program is measured by each student’s academic results, fitness tests and competitions, and indicators of attitude and behavior, such as school attendance and community service.
The youth development approach of Racquet Up is backed up by over 20 years of success in other cities across the US.
Racquet Up Detroit is one of 20 member programs of the National Urban Squash and Education Association (NUSEA). The results, since the first program was founded in Boston, have been inspiring. Nearly 100% of students who stick with the program graduate from high school; 90% continue on to college. Alumni have now attended Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Yale, and countless other top 100 colleges. Perhaps most impressively, 74% of NUSEA alumni graduate from college with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree within 6 years, as compared to 20% among low-income students nationally.
Racquet Up’s team is comprised of experienced and highly qualified academic coordinators, health & fitness coaches, and administrators. We are also fortunate to have over 75 volunteers who bring a wealth of experience to the work of helping students find a path to opportunity.
Racquet Up hosts a number of events throughout the year to engage the community in our program. These create opportunities for people to meet our students and see the progress they are making. We also have a lot of fun! Check out our events page or contact us for more information.