MetroSquash participant Makyla Kelley, who has been recruited to play squash at St. Lawrence University.
Nonprofit sports and recreational organization MetroSquash will be able to strengthen and expand its transformative academic and squash opportunities to Chicago youth thanks to a $2.5 million donation from Khurram and Dr. Sameera Hussain, the founder and president of Dental Dreams in Hinsdale.
“This gift is not only the largest for MetroSquash, but one of (the) largest gifts ever to any Urban Squash program around the country,” MetroSquash CEO David Kay told Illinois Business Daily. “It is a game changer for MetroSquash’s work in Chicago.”
MetroSquash supports students from 5th grade through college graduation.
“Our model of long-term engagement uses a holistic approach that combines academic support, competitive squash and enrichment opportunities,” Kay said. “To date, we have maintained a 100 percent high school graduation rate, 100 percent college enrollment rate and 88 percent of our college students are on track to graduate with a four-year degree within six years.”
MetroSquash participant Joseph Harris, center, said the program helped him realize his potential.
Kay said the best testament to MetroSquash’s success is its students, one of whom is Joseph Harris. When Harris joined the organization in 2007, in 6th grade, he knew very little about the game of squash.
“I didn't imagine how influential the program would be in my life,” Harris said. “Being surrounded by like-minded students and staff that pushed me on and off the court helped me realize my potential. MetroSquash has strengthened my foundation and tools needed to be successful - leading me to The Hotchkiss School and Tufts University.”
Makyla Kelley, who has been recruited to play squash at St. Lawrence University and will be attending college there this fall, also joined MetroSquash in 6th grade.
“I have been a part of MetroSquash for seven years, and the program has had a significant impact on my life,” Kelley said. “Through it, I have traveled and met new people, and earned the opportunity to attend college and play squash. When I started the program, I was shy, but I have become more outgoing and confident.”
Khurram and Hussain have donated $2.8 million to date to Metrosquash, which named its building the Hussain Center.