Access Graduation Celebration 2018!

Congratulations Access Class of 2024!

On Saturday, June 9th, Access Youth Academy celebrated the graduation of our 11 seniors. More than 50 staff, students, family members, and supporters came together to recognize the seniors for their hard work, inspire the younger students to carry on the positive example of the graduating class, and help all of our students feel the strength of the support network that is behind them. The afternoon was both tear-filled and joyous. In order to reach this point, each of our seniors has had to triumph over considerable adversities. And oh, how they have triumphed! Collectively, these amazing students earned more than $1.3 Million in grants and scholarships and were offered admission by over 35 different colleges and universities!

The students will continue to face challenges in college, but Access Youth Academy has helped them gain the confidence and skills they need to be successful, and we'll still be with them as they move into the next phase of their education! To us, this year's graduating seniors aren't the Class of 2018 but rather the Class of 2024 - that's when Access Youth Academy's 12-Year Promise will be fulfilled!  

Tryouts for Incoming 7th Graders

Renato explaining the tryout process to our hopeful students

As our seniors are heading off to college they open room in our program for a new cohort of students. Over 70 students applied to be a part of the program, vying for a total of 10 open spots. So, how do we choose these lucky 10 students? They first need to meet some basic criteria. Their family income must meet the requirements to be eligible for the free and reduced lunch program at school and they can have no parent or guardian who has graduated from a four-year college. But what makes the right candidate for the Access Youth Academy program? We are looking for kids that are hard workers, willing to put in the time and energy to being the best person they can be. Dedication to themselves and the program is key. We want to make sure they will take full advantage of what we have to offer them on a daily and yearly basis. We look for kids that are kind, to themselves and to others. And just as important, we look for good sportsmanship with leadership potential. After all, these are the leaders of tomorrow.

After they turned in their applications they met us for tryouts. This is where the fun begins. We put them through various stations of activities ranging from playing squash to writing an essay to discussion circles. Over 3 consecutive Friday's we met, interacted with and interviewed these students. We met some amazing young people and were encouraged about their futures. Unfortunately not all of their futures can be with us and believe us, decision making time was hard. In the end we ended up inviting 10 wonderful human beings into the program and are so very excited to get working with them. A big thank you to all of our current students and volunteers who came out to help facilitate the tryouts and congratulations to our new Access Youth Academy family members. 

Douglas Wilson joins Access Board of Directors
Access is proud to announce that  Doug Wilson , Chairman and CEO of  Douglas Wilson Companies , has recently joined our board of directors. Mr. Douglas Wilson brings nearly 35 years of experience in problem resolution, development, and real estate management to his Companies' clients.  During his career, Mr. Wilson has overseen the development and management of nearly $15 billion in assets and has served as a Court-Appointed Fiduciary for over 1,200 State and Federal Court matters, located in 35 states.  Prior to founding Douglas Wilson Companies in 1989, he was the managing general partner of the company that developed Symphony Towers, a $160 million, 1.2 million square foot office and hotel complex; one of downtown San Diego's largest mixed-use projects of its kind.
Mr. Wilson's professional organization memberships include the California Receivers Forum and the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum of which he served as president, the California Bankruptcy Forum (CBF), National Association of Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER), Urban Development/Mixed-Use Council (Blue Council) of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) , Special Assets Management Association (SAMA), the Lambda Alpha land economics society and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
Active in community and civic organizations, Mr. Wilson is a member of the Rotary Club of San Diego, co-chairman of the University Club Atop Symphony Towers, past vice chair of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and past member of the boards of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Museum of Photographic Arts and San Diego County Metropolitan YMCA.

As Mr. Wilson played an essential role in our acquisition of land for the new Southeast San Diego Squash and Education Facility, we are thrilled to have his continued leadership on our board of directors. 

Friends of Access 
 Monthly Giving Community!
There's still time to support Access Youth Academy all year long by joining  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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