Scholarship Fund

The tournament supports the NAO/GO Scholarship Fund in partnership with U.S. SQUASH, which provides financial assistance to participants in urban squash programs as they elect to attend private secondary schools or college.  The urban squash programs around the United States provide substantial academic support for kids who also play squash. For many of these young men and women private secondary school or college is a significant next step that can only be possible with financial aid – especially now as many academic institutions are reducing financial aid programs. The NAO/GO Fund will make an important difference in the education of these young men and women as a result of the generous support of tournament patrons.

NAO/GO SCHOLARSHIP FUND COMMITTEE
John Burke ~ Tim George ~ Kevin Klipstein ~ Steve Scharff ~ Britta Scott ~ Greg Zaff

2019-2020 – Report on the NAO/GO Scholarship Fund

After another successful Chilton North American Open Doubles and Greenwich Open Championships in January 2019, US Squash is pleased to provide an update on the important fund this tournament established.  The NAO/GO Scholarship Fund, founded in 2010, has made a substantial impact on the lives of young people from inner-city communities who participate in NUSEA programs.

The thoughtfulness that led to the founding of this fund is something we at US Squash are proud to help facilitate and be a part of.

Grants from the NAO/GO Scholarship Fund are meant to supplement and enhance the scholarship funding that urban squash program participants receive from the urban squash program, the beneficiary’s school and other sources. This financial assistance is provided as the students elect to attend private secondary schools or college. Specifically, the funding is intended to offset the tuition, room or board costs the student will incur, but has not received adequate funding from other grants or scholarships to cover.

Below is the distribution report for the NAO/GO Fund. The 2019 NAO/GO was an incredibly successful event netting a surplus of $52,957.

Distribution Summary:

NAO/GO FUND Distribution
   FY 10
   FY 11 $20,500
   FY 12 $20,500
   FY 13 $15,500
   FY 14 $15,500
   FY 15 $19,400
   FY 16 $25,885
   FY 17 $25,885
   FY 18 $25,885
   FY 19 $28,000
   FY 20 $26,000
 TOTALS $223,055

The NAO/GO Fund, which to date has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships over the past nine years, make a life-changing difference in the education of these young men and women as a result of the generous support of tournament patrons. The fund has a current balance of $60,914. While I can certainly try to share the impact the fund has made, I think the 2019 recipients can say it best.

“The US Squash scholarship has enabled me to continue my studies year after year because it has been a huge financial aid for me. My biggest fear was not to finish college because of a financial situation but US Squash scholarship allowed me to accomplish my dream and finish college with no debts. I am grateful for the support this past four years and I consider myself lucky to be part of the US Squash family.”

– Juan Lopera, Clark University Class of 2019

“The US Squash Scholarship Award has not only contributed to my journey in completing my degree, but it has given me a greater appreciation to organizations like US Squash that support those in need.”

– Leslie Cotrina, Siena College Class of 2019

“This scholarship to me has meant a great deal to me this year, specifically giving me the ability to be the first member of my family to attend college and be confident in attending without having to take up a second job with an already 30 hour work week. It has also allowed me to have time to engage with the squash community here at DU as well as other activities on campus, including becoming a Founding Father for the Delta Chi Fraternity on campus.”

– Jesus Baez Tapia

“This scholarship has meant a lot to me because it has allowed me to grow both academically and athletically at Connecticut College. I have had the opportunity to take rigorous and inspiring English courses as I pursue my goal of becoming either an Editor or a Teacher. I am also fortunate to be a member of the women’s squash team and to have teammates who constantly encourage me to improve. This year, our team won our division at CSA Nationals and we are aiming to move up a division in the upcoming year. I am grateful for your support, as it has allowed me to have these incredible experiences. Thank you!”

– Denise Bonilla

“It is an honor to have received this scholarship and to have earned it alongside my twin sister is an unexplainable feeling for my family. We are so grateful to the NAO/GO Scholarship Fund for helping us with our education careers. This scholarship means that my hard-working parents and I can worry a little less about paying for my school’s tuition. But most importantly, this scholarship motivates me to work even harder in all areas of my college life, both in the classroom and on the squash court and in the Latinx community on campus. This scholarship lets me know that others see potential in me and is why I am determined to earn my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education. This scholarship takes me one step closer of achieving my dream of giving back to my community after I graduate.”

– Nicole Granados

“My experience at St. Lawrence University has been nothing short of a dream come true. Thank you to the NAO/GO Scholarship for supporting me in college and making my dream a reality. I have been able to join various clubs and sports, such as the Varsity Squash Team, Boxing Club and the Carefree Black Girls club. When I started college, I was nervous about finding a wide range of classes that would interest me and my ability to balance my classes with playing squash in college and being able to join other clubs. The fall was a big transition, but I have learned so much about myself, how to study, and how to manage my time. Without the help of the NAO/GO Scholarship, I would not be living this crazy dream of a first-generation Lawrence, Massachusetts kid who is going to college, has finished their first year, and is so excited to go back in the fall for more.”

– Katherine Leiva

The 2019-2020 grant recipients were:

Recipient Name Recipient Program School Year in School
Denise Bonilla SquashHaven Connecticut College Junior
Billy Fleurima City Squash Connecticut College Junior
Nicole Granados City Squash Mt. Holyoke Junior
Genesis Granados City Squash Mt. Holyoke Junior
Jesus Baez Tapia Impact 360 University of Denver Sophomore
Quaran Davis Racquet Up Hobart William Smith Colleges Sophomore
Katherine Leiva SquashBusters St. Lawrence Sophomore
Starnisha Ramsey Racquet Up St. Lawrence Sophomore
Janiqua Davis SquashHaven Mt. Holyoke Freshman
Victoria Haghighi City Squash Bates College Freshman
Piera Miller Squash Drive Drexel University Freshman
Raqiyah Morrow Racquet Up Denison University Freshman
Christopher Tejada SquashSmarts Chatham College Freshman

Clearly, the impact of the NAO/GO Scholarship Fund is tremendous and has changed the lives of deserving young people. US Squash is proud to provide this report and be a part of this program that has the ability to change the lives of SEA program participants.

Thank you to the committee members of NAO/GO Scholarship Fund for their participation and commitment to the program. Committee Members: John Burke, Tim George, Steve Scharff, Britta Scott, and Greg Zaff

Submitted by: Kevin D. Klipstein, President & CEO, September 2019

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