Above The Tin Documentary Screening, featuring Access Students

Access ED and students featured in documentary join panel discussion with directors

In 2010 Infrastructure Productions directors Chris Holloway and Director Ray Gallardo headed to Mira Mesa, CA to meet with what they thought was going to be another non-profit client. That's when they met coach Renato Paiva. Chris states "Renato is the kind of person whose passion is contagious. You just can't help but feel the dedication he has to to his work and the sport of Squash. Renato's title is Executive Director at Access Youth Academy, but you can tell he means so much more to the program."

Access Youth Academy is a one of a handful of not-for-profit Urban Squash programs in the United States. Urban Squash pairs the sport of squash with academics, to help underprivileged kids achieve academic and athletic excellence. As we learned these programs all get amazing results.

In early 2012 the directors had the opportunity to follow the students of Access Youth Academy to two national championship tournaments filming their journeys of challenges and triumphs.  Five years later they have turned their footage into a film called
Above the Tin . The premiere of the movie took place on Feb 24, 2108 and it will be featured on KPBS in the coming months. Chris Holloway said "Following these students to their tournaments changed my life. If other people see this story, I think it could change theirs as well."

Access Students Selected for Competitive Summer Camps

In addition organizing the Access Youth Academy summer camps, each year we work closely with our students to help them vie for competitive opportunities offered by other organizations and educational institutions. This year, we are proud to announce that Sharon L. and Victoria D. have been selected to receive Squash and Education Alliance scholarships to attend the Harvard Pre-College and Exeter Summer programs, respectively. At this time we can also celebrate Emely R.'s selection as one of The Mars Generation scholarship recipients to attend Space Camp. More information below about each student and the summer program they will attend.

This is the first year that the Squash and Education Alliance has partnered with Harvard, and only one scholarship was set aside for an urban squash student. We are thrilled but not surprised that Sharon was selected. Sharon is currently at the top of her junior class, and earned a 4.625 Grade Point Average last semester. She is an exemplary student, athlete, and all-around human being. For her summer studies, Sharon has selected a course on Race, Inequality, and Social Justice. Harvard's Pre-College program features Harvard-level content taught by Harvard professors. The experience will no doubt set Sharon up for success in her future college studies.

Sharon L. and Djulia S. serving the community during a Canyon Cleanup

Exeter Summer is the gold standard for summer enrichment programs. The five-week blend of rigorous academics, sports training, and extracurricular activities draws thousands of applicants each year. This year, our very own Victoria will be one of 750 students from more than 40 countries and all 50 states to attend. Victoria is interested in becoming an FBI agent, so she selected Crime Scene Investigation for her primary Exeter Summer course. Exeter Summer features seminar-style classes and a 13:1 student to teacher ratio. That's why we nominated Victoria: she's not only a straight A student but also one of our strongest leaders and contributors in group discussions.

Victoria D. explaining her science fair project to a supporter

Space Academy explores college and career preparation through an immersive experience in science, technology, engineering, and math. Participants undergo a variety of astronaut training exercises, engineering challenges, and team-building activities, all culminating in an extended-duration simulated space mission. The Mars Generation scholarship program makes Space Camp possible for young people who have aptitude in STEM but do not have the resources to attend Space Camp. Only 9-12 Mars Generation scholarship recipients are selected each year, and Emely was one of them!

Nordson Corporation Awards Major Capital Grant to Access
On March 8th, Sara Vaz from  Nordson ASYMTEK came to meet more of our students during programming, and to share the news that Nordson has contributed $200,000 to our Capital Campaign and $5,000 to our annual operations! Sara also had the chance to share with students about the exciting STEM career opportunities and internships that Nordson has available in San Diego and throughout the nation. 

The Nordson Corporation Foundation has previously supported Access in the past, and their additional generosity will now enable us to transform even more lives in Southeast San Diego and beyond.  Access Youth Academy is proud to recognize Nordson as our highest giving corporate partner to date, and one of our key funders of our new facility. Our deepest thanks to Sara and all of the team at Nordson!

Friends of Access 
 Monthly Giving Community!
Looking for an easy, convenient way to support Access Youth Academy all year long? Join Friends of Access, our new monthly giving community! As little as $10 per month can provide the squash equipment needed for an Access student for one year.

Click on the Photo to Sign Up Today

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