Urban Squash MOvement

First State Squash launched in September 2016 in partnership with the Squash + Education Alliance (SEA) — formerly the National Urban Squash & Education Association (NUSEA). The first urban squash program was founded in Boston in 1996, and today accredited urban squash programs operate in 23 cities and enroll year-round more than 2,000 elementary, middle, high school and college students. SEA’s 4 international affiliates enroll an additional 500 students. To be members of SEA, local programs are required to meet a range of criteria which demonstrate that they are organizationally sound and that they provide their students with long-term, intensive, year-round support.

FSS - team photo - May 2017.JPG


In our first year, First State Squash will work with 25 middle school students, and each year First State Squash will welcome a new class of up to 15 students. By 2021, the organization will enroll over 100 elementary, middle, and high school students. First State Squash is guided by an “inch wide, mile deep” philosophy of youth programming and is led by two full-time staff members.


Our intensive, year-round programming begins for students as young as 10 years old and lasts through high school and college graduation. First State Squash enables our students to:

  1. Maintain good health and physical fitness

  2. Serve the community and travel outside of it

  3. Graduate from high school and college

  4. Prepare for post-graduation employment


Serena A. Carbonell, Executive Director

Serena oversees day-to-day operations and coaches for the First State Squash urban program in Wilmington, Delaware. A native of southern Pennsylvania, Serena learned squash at a young age in Wilmington and went to Trinity College, where she was a two-time second-team All-American on the squash team. Serena coached squash at Northwestern University and worked as the head squash professional at the Lake Forest Recreation Center. While in Illinois, Serena also coached high schools and grade schools in Lake Forest and volunteered for MetroSquash, an urban squash program in the South Side of Chicago. Most recently, Serena served as the assistant squash professional at the Wilmington Country Club and assistant coach for Tower Hill School. Serena is also a licensed massage therapist, and a voluntary Congressional District Leader for The ONE Campaign — a nonpartisan global advocacy grassroots organization, co-founded by Bono, with the goal to end extreme poverty, primarily in sub-saharan Africa.

Jaleelah Abdulai, Academic Director

Jaleelah guides the scholastic enrichment and curricular development of our program. She recently returned from Singapore after working as a Research Assistant in the Education Department of Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School where she facilitated effective teaching methods and team based learning. As a 2016 graduate of Duke University, Jaleelah focused on empowering others through initiatives in youth and young adult education. Jaleelah loves watching and playing basketball and soccer, and is thrilled to learn how to play squash.


Board of Directors  


Todd Anderson

Morgan Stanley

Garrett Moritz
Ross Aronstam & Moritz - LLP

Bob Bolling

RBC Wealth Management

James Zug
US Squash; Squash Magazine


Ed Chilton
Wilmington Country Club

Cory Plumb

W. Scott Simonton
Barton Creek, LLC

Aubree Wellons
Dilwyne Designs
Adorn Goods

Tim Wyant
Squash & Education Alliance




Advisory Board

Deborah Bagatta-Bowles

Josephine Bayard

Tina Betz

Chris Buccini

Ray Chan-A-Sue

Rebecca & Mark Collins

Kleon Diamantopoulos

Steven R. Director

Renee & Alex Garnick

Steve Gregg

Buzz Hannum Jr.

Michele Centrella Harra

Dave Henninger

Doug Herrmann

Jamie McConnel

John Osborn

Kristen & Adam Poff

Laura Rossi

Chip Sawyer

Laurisa Schutt

Ethan Townsend

Rod Ward

John Stockard Wellons

Jack Wyant



Central YMCA of Wilmington

An association of people of all ages, ethnic groups and religions that strives to cultivate the human potential, self-esteem, and dignity of all people.  

Longwood Foundation

The Longwood Foundation is dedicated to the people, environment, and communities of Delaware and Pennsylvania.  

Welfare Foundation

The Welfare Foundation uses its assets to promote the social welfare of people in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The Tatnall

The Tatnall School provides a balanced foundation with exceptional academics, outstanding athletics, unparalleled arts and authentic relationships.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill is bound by an understanding that our students are expected to take an active part in school life and, later on, life in the adult world.

Wilmington Friends School

Wilmington Friends challenges students to seek truth, to value justice and peace, and to act as creative, independent thinkers.

Ellice & Rosa McDonald Foundation

In honor of Rosa Hayward McDonald and Ellice McDonald, Jr., generous benefactors and courageous leaders for the causes in which they believed.