#UrbanSquash #Cleveland enriches children on court, in classrooms and is beginning a large expansion (video)

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Senior Noah Lee described the sport of squash like this: "You're in this room. You have this racquet. You hit a ball against a wall to your other player, and then they try to hit it back."

Sounds easy enough, right?

It turns out squash is a challenging sport, one that requires speed, strength, agility, focus, and coordination, to name a few things.

Urban Squash Cleveland is a youth development organization that implements academic support and enrichment opportunities, along with the sport, to create a sustainable path for students.

The five participating Cleveland schools are Urban Community School, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine at John Hay and the three campuses of E-Prep - Cliffs, Willard and Woodland Hills.

Iago Cornes, the program's executive director, stressed Urban Squash Cleveland isn't a squash program; it's a youth development program that uses squash as a pillar.

Tryouts and practices are held at Cleveland State and Case. Shuttling the students from school to practice is a major challenge, Cornes said.

However, that will soon be a concern of the past, as a groundbreaking ceremony was held in October for the program's new facility being built at Urban Community School, located at West 47th Street and Lorain Avenue.

One in ten young adults experience #homelessness during one year, Chapin Hall finds

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A groundbreaking study released Nov. 15 by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago reveals one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year.

This study captures youth homelessness broadly, including situations such as sleeping on the streets, in shelters, running away and couch surfing. “Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America” demonstrates the diverse circumstances of young people who experience homelessness, identifies who is most at risk and illuminates a nationwide problem cutting across rural and urban areas alike.

“We have a collective obligation to ensure all young people have a chance to succeed, starting from a young age,” said Bryan Samuels, executive director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. “Intervening and building stability during adolescence and young adulthood for those at highest risk will have lifelong effects. As a country, we can look for the missed opportunities in schools, communities and public services to prevent youth homelessness.”

Chapin Hall’s national survey of 26,161 people offers new insight into the scope and urgency of youth homelessness in America, providing data to inform policy. The study found that that certain populations—specifically, African-American and Hispanic youths; young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender; young parents; and those who have not completed high school—are statistically more likely to experience homelessness than their peers. The study also shows that young people living in rural and urban communities experience homelessness at similar rates.

#UrbanYouth Inc. celebrates 2 decades of providing an alternative to youth violence

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On Thursday, Urban Youth Incorporated celebrated 20 years of partnering with city and state officials to use youth sports as an alternative to violence, the streets, and delinquency. 

“It's all about the kids and keeping the kids out of trouble,” said Mark Sills, CEO of Urban Youth Inc. “We provide youth activities for kids to keep them off the streets and out of harm’s way.”

Back in 1997, Sills saw that, throughout Wilmington, teens with nothing better to do were heading down a negative and unproductive path all linked to boredom. To change that, he created Urban Youth, Inc. to give them an outlet to learn and play sports, like basketball.

Daria Rushdan knows the positive impacts this program can have; her daughter, Khadijah Rushdan, was a participant before heading to Rutgers, then going on to play in the WNBA for a year, drafted 15th overall in the 2nd round of 2012, then went on to coach after an injury stopped her from playing. 

“Bringing your child to this program and know that they are learning...and experiencing new things, is [a great feeling],” the elder Rushdan said. “It makes life more precious to them, instead of them taking it for granted.”

Because of their work, and the work of many volunteers and supporters, this once local program, has touched the lives of more than 45,000 youth across the US, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Theo #Epsteingrant expands #Roxbury youth-mentoring nonprofit to #Chicago (Video)

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The BASE, an urban youth mentoring nonprofit based in Roxbury, will expand to Chicago with the help of a $150,000 grant from Foundation To Be Named Later co-founders Paul and Theo Epstein.

The BASE Chicago will adopt about 400 kids from the Garfield Park league, according to the Chicago Tribune, as Lewis and his staff work to raise about $3 million from donors to fund the BASE for three years.

The Boston nonprofit works to empower urban youth through academics, mentoring and baseball. A ceremony was held yesterday at Wrigley Field. In addition to the $150,000 grant from the Foundation To Be Named Later, Good Sports announced a $50,000 equipment donation to The BASE Chicago after officials were able to determine immediate equipment needs for 2018. 

“The BASE aims to shift the national mindset about what it takes for urban youth to succeed and to build a movement of citizens who are committed to their success,” said The BASE Founder and President Robert Lewis Jr. “We operate a premier national urban youth training academy with a methodology that cultivates excellence, belief and love.”

75 people sleep on #ColoradoSprings streets as a fundraiser for #homelessyouth

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More than 75 volunteers will sleep outside Thursday night as a fundraiser for Urban Peak’s shelter program. This is the fourth annual Night Out to End Youth Homelessness, held during national Homeless Youth  Awareness Month

Volunteers sponsor their night out by raising money and learning about the challenges facing youth who are homeless and trying to find a way out.

Participants will be sleeping in the parking lot and sidewalk at First United Methodist Church in downtown Colorado Springs.

No tents are allowed during the night out, but participants can use sleeping bags, cardboard boxes and tarps to survive the elements.

“One in four youth who go without shelter will become victims of human trafficking,” Shawna Kemppainen, executive director of Urban Peak Colorado Springs said in a news release. “Our night out in the cold will help youth come in from the cold this winter.”

The collective goal is to raise at least $40,000, enough to support Urban Peak’s shelter program through the winter holidays. Urban Peak operates a 20-bed shelter for youth ages 15 through 20. It costs about $71 per night to provide youth shelter, food, counseling and other services at Urban Peak.

More here.