BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two years ago Hope Lynch opened up 716 Squash, an after school program partnered with Squash and Education Alliance. Both organizations are non-profits and provide year-round, long-term support to families of modest means.
"Squash historically has been a really inaccessible sport and has been mostly at private clubs or colleges and universities," executive director Hope Lynch said. "I wanted kids in Buffalo who hadn't had the opportunity to hear about the sport or ever play it to have that chance."
So far the team consists of 32 fourth, fifth and six graders. The goal, is to work with these kids until they are 24.
"I like to call us an opportunity machine," Lynch said.
While squash is at the forefront of this after school program, education is just as important.
"Every time a student is here, they spend at least an hour in the classroom working with our volunteer students and our academic staff person," Lynch said. And, students say they have seen their grades approve.
Right now this program is only available to West Hertel Academy and West Buffalo Charter School students, but the goal is to expand.
<"I hope that we're able to continue to grow and work with more kids and provide more and more students with these opportunities," Lynch said.