Squash Haven relies on a small full time staff based at Yale whose work is complemented by the volunteer efforts of the University’s squash teams and academic volunteers.
Gordon Armour Volunteer Teacher and Squash Coach Gordon@Squashhaven.org 203-804-5559 Gordon recently retired from teaching English and being a class dean at Choate for 33 years. His daughter Charlotte was the AmeriCorps Vistas staff member two years ago and Shanghaied him into teaching a class at Squash Haven in the summer of 2017. Gordon also coached squash at Choate, so he will be helping with both enrichment and squash. He lives in New Haven, rides his bike many miles when the weather allows and plays the classical guitar. His wife Anne often bakes goodies for him to bring in to the office.
Christian Aviles Director of College Access and Persistence Christian@squashhaven.org Christian joins the Squash Haven team from Los Angeles, California. Christian graduated from Amherst College in 2014 with a double major in English and Sociology. Christian comes from a diverse background in education, having worked in public and private schools, nonprofits, and test prep settings. In addition to a passion for academics and college access, Christian also brings an enthusiasm for squash as a US Squash Certified Coach. Christian oversees Squash Haven’s high school and college placement programs, and actively supports current college students with course selection, connections to summer internships, and access to campus resources.
Christi Boscarino-Elligers Program Director Christi@squashhaven.org 860-841-6595 Christi Boscarino-Elligers joined Julie and the team in the fall of 2008 as Squash Haven’s first full time Academic Director. Christi came to Squash Haven after two years of experience as a Teach for America corps member in New Haven, teaching 7th and 8th grade Language Arts. Christi is a Windsor, CT native and a graduate of Northwestern University, where she majored in French and Political Science. Christi develops and oversees Squash Haven’s academic program with an enrichment focus on literacy, discussion, and critical thinking. Christi’s passion for the work is continually fueled by the model that allows her to work comprehensively with students over long periods of time.
Leslie Cotrina Teacher and Program Coordinator Leslie@squashhaven.org 203-361-2284 Leslie is no stranger to Squash Haven: she joined as a team member in 2007! On May 2019, Leslie graduated from Siena College with a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish and a Health Studies minor. Leslie has had various experiences working with children inside and outside of New Haven. She will be helping with multiple responsibilities that include study hall, college prep, and squash sessions.
John DeWitt Director of Squash and Operations John@Squashhaven.org 508-272-8840 John DeWitt joined the Squash Haven family in August, 2009. John brings a passion for the game and a longstanding commitment to urban squash to New Haven. John first started volunteering for the SquashBusters organization in Boston as a Belmont Hill junior and remained involved with the organization throughout his college years. John graduated from Hamilton College in May 2009 with a degree in Economics. At Hamilton, John was a four year varsity letter winner in Men's Squash, team captain in '08-'09, played at the #1 position his junior and senior years, and earned first team all-NESCAC honors for the '08-'09 season.
Julie Greenwood Executive Director Julie@squashhaven.org 203-464-8644 Julie was hired by Squash Haven’s Board of Directors in 2007 to launch and build Squash Haven. Under her leadership, the program has grown from 20 aspiring young people in 5th and 6th grades to 160 in 5th grade through college. Julie believes passionately in youth development, education, college access, and community building, and values deeply the intersection of all four in her daily life at Squash Haven. She is an alumna of New Haven's Community Leadership Program, Executive Orientation Program, and Democracy School, and a former board member of the National Urban Squash and Education Association. Julie graduated from Williams College, where she was a 3-time All-American as well as the recipient of the Purple Key Award for the outstanding female athlete in her class. She earned her Master's in Education from Stanford. Julie lives in New Haven with her husband Kieran and sons Dylan and Rory.
Mike Greer Teacher and Community Service Director Mike@squashhaven.org 203-444-0722 Mike joins the Squash Haven team having been a New Haven resident for the last eight years. Mike was born and raised in Milford, CT. Mike received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Masters of Science in Secondary Education from the University of New Haven. Mike comes to Squash Haven from Teach for America having taught 7th and 8th grade in Hartford, CT. Prior to Teach for America, Mike worked as an adolescent counselor at Yale New Haven Hospital. Mike believes in the power that a great education can provide in transforming an individual's life and Squash Haven helps provide that opportunity to all students involved. As teacher and Community Service Director, Mike is responsible for helping all Squash Haven students reach their full potential in the classroom and their community.
Franki Velasquez Assistant Squash Coach Franki@squashhaven.org 203-887-4667 Franki joins the Squash Haven staff as a coach serving through the Up2Us AmeriCorps Program. Franki first joined Squash Haven in 6th grade. Throughout his time in the program, Franki competed in a number of high level tournaments, and played on the varsity team as early as his freshman year of high school. Franki also led Squash Haven to five SEA Team National Titles and was the #1 player on the boys high school team as a senior. Franki is currently a sophomore at Gateway Community College, where he is learning more about the medical field. Franki is also a US Squash Level 1 Certified Coach. Franki's family has strong ties to Squash Haven, as his two younger sisters are also in the program. Outside of work, Franki enjoys going to car meets, playing soccer, and working on his car. Franki is excited about sharing his passion for squash with his younger teammates and mentoring them on and off the court.