Goldman Sachs Team Raises Over $150,000 for Urban Enrichment Youth Program
A group of Goldman Sachs employees participated in the Ninth Annual StreetSquash Cup and raised $156,250 for the event’s sponsor, StreetSquash, an urban enrichment youth program in Harlem, New York.
Amateur and professional squash players as well as teenagers from the StreetSquash program participated in the May 13th event. More than half of the funds raised by the Goldman team were through Goldman Sachs Gives, the firm’s donor-advised fund.
Eric Muller, a partner in the Merchant Banking Division, captained the team and was joined by a number of Goldman Sachs senior leaders, including Justin Gmelich of the Securities Division. Osama Khalifa, the current top-ranked US college squash player, who will be joining Goldman Sachs as a summer associate was among the stand-out players.
StreetSquash was founded in Harlem in 1999 to combine squash instruction with academic tutoring, college preparation, leadership development, community service and mentoring for public school students. A sixth grade student who enters the program is 10 times more likely to earn a college degree than his or her peers from the same middle school, according to StreetSquash.
“Squash was a hook to get kids in the door,” Eric said about the nonprofit’s mission. Today, approximately 500 kids participate in StreetSquash’s Harlem program, and another 50 are in the program in Newark, NJ, which was launched five years ago. The organization’s goal is to get kids to finish high school and college, and to realize their academic and personal potential.
Today, the nonprofit is focused on finding a facility for its Newark affiliate. “We believe for the program to be really successful and sustainable, you need a facility that the community and surrounding schools and institutions can embrace,” said Eric. Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group provided financing for the StreetSquash Harlem facility built nine years ago.
Goldman Sachs has supported the nonprofit through financial donations and by the volunteering efforts of its employees. Over the last six years, over $750,000 has been raised for StreetSquash through Goldman Sachs Gives and personal donations by employees.
“The results of this program are really tangible,” Eric said. “You are definitely helping those kids and it’s changing their lives.”