Yves Singletary’s vision for Springfield: literacy, community, and TENNIS

[I was recently invited to speak to the students in Anne Richmond’s community development seminar at Springfield College (syllabus here). There I met an inspiring young man named Yves Singletary. Yves has a vision for Springfield, and it is my privilege to be able to share it here.]

My name is Yves Singletary and I am a junior at Springfield College where I am studying Youth Development. While attending school in the Springfield area for the past two years, I have become interested in seeing what I could do to help. Looking to combine my passions for both tennis and helping people, I thought about starting a tennis program to help serve the inner city youth of Springfield. I have been around tennis for 8 years; most recently as an instructor at The Tennis Academy at Harvard, alongside the Harvard Men’s and Women’s tennis coaches. I am a graduate of the Tenacity program, which is a nonprofit organization that teaches tennis and literacy to inner city youth in Boston. I’ve had the opportunity to give back to the program by being a summer Site Leader and a volunteer on many different occasions. My experience with the organization has helped shape me in becoming the person I am today.

Growing up in the inner city of Boston, MA I understand the difficulties that come along with being an African American and getting ahead. Fortunately for me, I had a lot of supportive individuals who helped me to stay on track in order to get where I want to be. I would like to provide the youth of Springfield with the same supports and opportunities, to help better themselves and to help them reach their goals and dreams. In order to help this become a reality I believe there are three things to be focused on: Tennis, Education, and Community.

I would like to help integrate the game of tennis, so that poor children and children of color have access to this amazing sport.  Usually children of color are given the options of football, basketball, and baseball. I would like to be able to offer them the option to learn the game of tennis. Tennis is one of few sports that can be played for life; there are tennis leagues of many different ages and levels throughout the world which allow people to come together and participate in this great game. Springfield is also fortunate to have the space, with beautiful public courts throughout the city.

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2010 Smith College International Women’s Day speaker: Maryann Mohamoud

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Our own Maryann Mohamoud will be guiding a discussion and presenting her film, The Secret Pain, at the Mwangi Cultural Centre at Smith College next Wednesday, March 10th, at 4:30PM. All are welcome. Maryann is herself an FGM survivor, and a courageous advocate for African immigrants in Western Massachusetts. Maryann works with immigrant families who have recently arrived (and continue to arrive), as well as with the medical and human services community (where there are often substantial culture and knowledge gaps). To sample her work and perspectives while at The Springfield Institute, click here.

SI to host UMass discussion of new research on formal and informal care work (Oct. 20)

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In MA, the paid care sector makes up 22% of the labor force (or 800,000 workers). This sector is worth $46.8 billion annually, and represents 13% of the Commonwealth’s GDP. And new research shows that if you add the value of informal and unpaid care work, the sector represents 36% of GDP. According to the new research, “Commonwealth residents 16 and older spend an average of 4.8 hours per day providing unpaid care or supervising those who need care.”

On Tuesday, October 20th at 4PM, at our offices (32-34 Hampden St. in downtown Springfield), The Springfield Institute will be hosting a discussion with the report’s authors. This discussion will be the third in a series (the others will be at UMass Lowell and UMass Boston).

The discussion series is co-sponsored by:

  • UMass Lowell Center for Women and Work
  • UMass Boston Center for Social Policy
  • UMass Amherst Center for Public Policy and Administration
  • Center for Popular Economics

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