Today was the first day of our 2019 Citizenship Tour! 18 thoughtful and excited students from 10 cities across the country arrived to New York City by plane, train, and bus. This year’s group includes a mix of rising high school juniors through rising college first years, who will be accompanied by four amazing SEA alum acting as our tour counselors.
We began the tour with a welcome lunch where we talked about activism and what it means to be an engaged citizen in the U.S. today. After breaking the ice, a few students jumped right into their presentations that they’ve been working on to prepare for the tour, providing us with all the background information we need on our first Tour Speakers – CitySquash Executive Director Terence Li, StreetSquash Executive Director George Polsky, and SEA Executive Director Tim Wyant.
Abou, Squash Haven class of 2021, shared that he enjoyed the panel with George, Terence, and Tim, because “we always hear about them, but we never get to talk to them. I appreciated that they took the time to talk to us.” Alex, CitySquash class of 2020, appreciated Tim’s candid explanation of why the network changed the acronym from NUSEA to SEA. Daniel, SquashSmarts class of 2020, shared that he “enjoyed hearing about their challenges,” and learned that “it’s okay to not know where your college or career path is going to take you right away, because eventually you’ll figure it out.”
Finally Destiny, SquashBusters class of 2020, had the following to share: “Today was a day full of new faces and good laughs. We had the opportunity to meet those who started it all and learned about the motivation that led to our squash programs’ development.”
After our meeting and squash session at StreetSquash Harlem, we enjoyed dinner together, prepped for our busy day tomorrow, and headed back to our hotel. We’re excited to embark on the rest of the tour with these students and counselors, learning what it means to make a difference!