jakeslogo-highres3755 6th Ave. San Diego, CA 92103


6 – 9PM

Grab a glass of wine and chat with the staff of Access Youth Academy!

10% of the total net sales will be donated back to Access.
all are welcome!



Congrats to Natalie R., NUSEA Scholarship Winner

NatelieR_01_ExeterCongratulations to Natalie R. of Team 5 for receiving the National Urban Squash + Education Association (NUSEA) scholarship to the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School program in New Hampshire. She is one of ten scholarship recipients chosen from across all 15 programs of NUSEA.

One student per program was encouraged to submit an essay to NUSEA for the highly competitive scholarship program that would enroll them into the prestigious five week program with Phillips Exeter. The essay prompt requested a short description of the student’s interests and abilities they wish to share with the Selection Committee. The student was also asked to describe a significant event, person, or experience that has influenced their outlook on life and their goals; or describe their involvement in a specific activity of particular importance to them. Finally, the essay should include a statement outlining their reasons for wanting to attend Exeter’s Summer School.

Once enrolled in summer school, students get to personalize their programs of study  by working with dedicated teachers and having access to the full Academy campus. Natalie will be able to experience dorm life, set her curriculum schedule and engage with other students from across the nation and around the world.  We wish Natalie good luck this summer at Phillips Exeter Academy.


Phillips Exeter Academy Application Essay
By Natalie R.

Hello, my name is Natalie and I am currently a freshman at the Preuss School UCSD in San Diego, California. I am a Japanese – American and bilingual as well. When I was 10 years old my parents and I moved to the United States from Japan. My mother is Japanese while my father is half Caucasian and half Hispanic. I have many interests and I enjoy doing lots of activities such as playing squash, reading mystery/ time-travel novels, and playing the piano once in awhile. However, what I enjoy the most is drawing. I dedicate most of my time to my art and I am very passionate about drawing and sketching. For as long as I can remember it has been one of my top priorities to improve on my drawing skills. I hope that one day I will eventually find employment doing the things that I thoroughly enjoy. What I usually use when I draw is a simple paper and pencil routine where I doodle a couple of fun things. Recently, I have acquired a drawing tablet. It allows me to paint and make new pieces of art on the computer. It’s a huge leap from just scribbling in a little notebook and it’s exciting getting to know more about computer graphics.

As mentioned earlier, one of my favorite things is to play the piano. I used to take lessons when I was 8 years old, but after I moved, we couldn’t afford the lessons anymore. Even though I haven’t taken piano lessons in over 4 years, I still practice when I have the time. In place of paid lessons, I watch instructional videos and cover popular songs. I also like playing the ukulele. I practice also by playing covers of songs from one of my favorite shows, Adventure Time. Most of the songs that are on the show are fun, silly music that correspond to each episode. I really like playing songs from this show because it’s easy, entertaining and a great way for me to learn how to play the ukulele.

I also enjoy reading books based off time travel or mystery. I have always had an interest in the topic of time-travel because it is very fascinating but also very confusing as well. Although I do not really have that much of an interest in science, the concept of time and time-travel has always appealed to me. Every time I read these types of books it really makes me think and wonder what it would be like to be given the opportunity to travel through time and what I would do. I really like mystery and problem solving as well. I enjoy reading detective stories, puzzles, and brainteasers. I am very fond of the concept of thinking outside the box and looking at things in a different way or perspective. I feel that each time I read a book like this, I acquire a small piece of the protagonist’s personality and with it I can view the world a little differently than I did before.

Finally, something I like to do often is play squash. Squash is a very interesting sport and it is very fun. Last year I even got the chance to go to Team Nationals as well as Individual Nationals. It was a very exciting experience and I hope to improve more so that I can go to these tournaments over the next 3 years. However, I don’t always play tournaments and when I am not training, I also like to play with my friends during weekends or over break. Improving at squash is just as important to me as improving in drawing. Squash has become an important part of my life: it has shaped who I am.

When I first heard about squash, I thought it was a silly sport with a silly name. However, my father told me that the team representing our school was number 11 in the whole nation. When I first heard this I thought that the team was very impressive to have earned such a title, although it did not seem all that important to me back then. When I was in 7th grade, the coach from the squash team came to our P.E. class to tell us about squash and the tryouts, that were going to be held  in a few weeks. Once again, I was not all that interested in the sport and paid little attention to the presentation. However, what changed my mind was the eagerness of my friends who wanted to go and try out for the team. They convinced me that it would be fun. So at the last minute, I grabbed the application and filled it out. The tryouts was much more delightful than I had expected and I started enjoying going to the club. At the beginning, I did not have any intentions of joining, but when I was chosen by the squash coach to be part of the new team, I was overjoyed. Being a part of Access Youth Academy, the program that introduced me to squash, has changed me in many great ways. It has become such a significant part of my life and it will be hard to let it go once I graduate. This experience has taught me a great life lesson: always take chances and go for every opportunity I see. Because of the life skills Access Youth Academy has taught me, I will be given the chance to attend Exeter’s Summer School Program.

Access Youth Academy is a program that not only teaches kids about squash but also it helps them academically. They are a member of NUSEA, the National Urban Squash Education Association. This national organization also helps kids with school, college, and their future plans. It is what helped me find this Summer School program. I want to attend Exeter’s Summer School because I believe that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn new things and get the chance to choose which classes I want to take. I believe that it will give me the liberty of choosing what I want to learn, which the most significant one in my case would be art. It also seems like a great way to prepare for college. I will be in a whole new place meeting new people and living away from the comforts of home. In this I will have a good understanding of how college will be like and learn how to become independent and make my own choices. Finally, I think that as a student, I will be able to contribute to the program as well. Coming from a diverse ethnic background as well as being one whose travelled to many places, I will be able to easily socialize with other students as well as share my experience at the school and encourage many other people I know to take this chance and apply as well. I hope that I will be able to attend this summer school because of the variety of choices and opportunities that are provided. Additionally, if I am able to go I will greatly look forward to this amazing opportunity.


Veritas SAT Prep Partners with Access

VeritasPrepThis year marks the first year Access Youth Academy partners with Veritas Prep to provide Access students with an SAT prep course designed to have them break the top 10% of all test takers. The students attend Saturday SAT prep class for 3 months at the new San Diego Public Library.

Their instructor Brian Tracz, provides them with testing strategies, practice questions and review their homework  on learned material.

“I really like their strategies” says junior Access student Sarabi R. Veritas Prep helps them prepare for not only what will be on the test, but how to take the test. The exercises in the classroom are unique in the way Veritas deconstructs the SAT.

Veritas Prep SAT 2400 has earned the The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval and is the only SAT prep program to win an award for its entire line-up of SAT course offerings. Veritas Prep’s Director of SAT Programs, Shaan Patel took his own SAT score of 1760 to a perfect 2400 and used those same strategies to build the highly successful prep course.

We thank Veritas for their support and looking forward to seeing our students excel at the SATs.

Here are some quotes from our students on their experience with Veritas Prep:
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For more information, please visit Veritas Prep.