Access Youth Academy
Access Youth Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to transform the lives of underserved youth. Access was founded in 2006 by Greg Scherman and Chris Walker, who believed the San Diego community could benefit from an urban squash program that provided opportunity and support unlike any other non-profit in the region.
We use the sport of squash as a catalyst to transform young lives. By building on our highly successful Preuss pilot program and in partner- ship with City Heights area schools, we will implement our successful program that begins by selecting children in the 7th grade, educating them with our four pillars and continuing to transform their lives for six years through high school graduation and then 6 years through college and post-graduate into our City Heights expansion plan.
During these fundamental years, we provide guidance for building essential life skills to becoming responsible and honorable adults. By creating a culture of healthy lifestyle and exercise, students find the discipline and dedication to unlock their potential and achieve their goals. Family members are involved in the transformation process, as these skills translate to all members of a family and ultimately a community.
“ACCESS YOUTH ACADEMY IS ONE OF THE BEST RUN SPORTS-BASED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS I’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THESE PAST 20 YEARS. THE PROGRAM LIVES AND BREATHES ITS VALUES OF HARD WORK, SPORTSMANSHIP, HONESTY AND CARING.”
– Greg Zaff
Founder & Chief Executive Officer Squash Busters, Boston
“ACCESS YOUTH ACADEMY IS ABOUT HAVING THE HIGHEST STANDARDS FOR OUR YOUTH. THE ORGANIZATION ENCOURAGES ITS TEAM MEMBERS TO BE THE BEST STUDENTS, ATHLETES AND PEOPLE THEY CAN BE, AND THEY MEET THAT CHALLENGE. IN URBAN SQUASH, ACCESS’S RESULTS ARE SECOND TO NONE.”
– Tim Wyant
Executive Director & Founding Member National Urban Squash and Education Association
Transforming just one low-performing student into a high-achieving academic performer produces untold social benefits. Our program stands to achieve this with EVERY student it serves, breaking cycles of urban underachievement and creating a new tradition of success for San Diego’s low-income youth population.
Between specialized academic assistance, cultural experiences outside the classroom, and the physical fitness and wellness training through the racquet sport of squash, Access Youth Academy is providing meaningful youth enrichment services otherwise unavailable to targeted at-risk youth.
Thanks to your generous community support, all Access Youth Academy services are offered with no cost to our youth’s families. With your help, we can continue to work toward 100% graduation from high school and full acceptance into four-year university for each of our first-generation students.