About Washington Education & Squash Academy

About WESA

Did you know that in the Seattle Public Schools, minority students scored an average of 33.35% lower on standardized tests than white students?  Or that low-income students in Washington State are 12% less likely to graduate high school than the average student?  In fact, no matter how you measure it, the data is clear. Our public education system is fundamentally unfair, and less privileged students face a much rougher path to success than their affluent peers.

Did you know that you can do something about it?

Washington Education & Squash Academy is a nonprofit organization based in Seattle, WA that aims to combat inequality in education and narrow the achievement gap between poor and wealthy schools.  Our donors and volunteers provide free academic tutoring, squash training, and service learning to a select group of youth from underserved communities in the Seattle area, with the goal of ensuring high school graduation and creating pathways to college.  These programs help our students develop confidence, study habits, discipline, work ethic, athletic skills, fitness expertise, and positive social connections.  Our program also aims to reduce obesity in children and teens by promoting healthy eating and frequent exercise.  We are proud to be part of the burgeoning sports-based youth development movement in the US, and are unique in that movement due to our dual focus on both sports development and academic development through tutoring.

Our Mission: “To offer a group of underprivileged students year-round intense squash instruction, academic tutoring and community service so that they recognize and fulfill their potential in life as students, athletes and citizens.”

Our Vision: “Impact the lifelong health and wellness of students through commitment, diligence, resilience, integrity and team-work.”

Our Goals: Aim for 100% high school graduation and create pathways to 4-year college.

● By combining 3 pillars: year-round intense squash instruction, academic tutoring, and community service
● By providing a consistent, long-term, reliable, fun, and constructive after school environment
● By creating a culture of achievement with intensive squash coaching, academic tutoring and positive goal-setting, expecting success, and encouraging students to be motivated to do their best and to stay committed
● By working with a group of urban students beginning in third grade and continuing through high school
● By requiring participants to attend squash and academic tutoring sessions a minimum of three days each week for the full academic year
● By achieving national junior squash ranking for every student through a minimum of 4 exposures a year regardless of the skill level

Results so Far

In the 2013-14 season...

  • WESA achieved an increase from 12% to 63% of students who exceed grade level in reading

  • 78% of our students met or exceeded typical growth in math

  • 2 of 4 Northgate Elementary Seymour Kaplan award winners (selected from the entire school) were WESA students, with 2 other WESA students nominated

  • We averaged 95% attendance over 250 hours of practice, 3 community service projects, and 4 field trips

In the 2015-16 season...

  • All 3 WESA 6th graders achieved above a 3.0 core GPA at the end of their first year of middle school, despite two of them receiving a 1.4 and 2.2 in the first semester.

  • WESA students' average fitness level increased by 31% (as measured by a PACER test)

  • 67% of WESA students with unhealthy fitness levels at the beginning of the season, achieved a healthy level by the end of the season (http://www.cooperinstitute.org/healthyfitnesszone for more information on this statistic).

(test score data not available for 2015-16 due to statewide changes in standardized testing)

In the 2016-17 season...

  • 1 of 2 Northgate Elementary students selected to be Rainier Scholars were WESA students.

In the 2017-18 season...

  • 70% of WESA’s middle and high school students exceeded standards in math, with the average student receiving a 3.5 GPA in mathematics.

  • Two thirds of WESA’s high school students received As in their English Language Arts classes.

    (We are currently working with our partner school and students’ families to get up-to-date testing and academic data for all students)