To ensure that socioeconomic status does not define a child's future
In 2007, Denver was identified as the location for 9th National Urban Squash and Education Association (NUSEA) program, and in 2008, with the support of Mayor Hickenlooper, The Anschutz Foundation, The Denver Athletic Club, The Hashim Khan Foundation, and a dedicated group of leaders, Miel High 360 (as Mile High Squash) was launched. Housed at the Denver Athletic Club, Mile High 360 started with a group of fifth and sixth graders from Bryant Webster Dual Language K-8 School and added a new group of sixth grade students each fall for five years. In the fall of 2014, Impact360 had students in grades eight through twelve and had been unable, due to constraints of its physical campus, to accept a new class of students for two years. Essentially, Miel High 360 had reached a limit.
The Evolution of Mile High 360
In 2014, Mile High Squash began preparing for a shift in its design to expand the number of students served, resulting in a stronger organization with improved stability and sustainability for generations to come. While squash breathed life into the organization and the greater squash community has done an outstanding job of supporting it, cycling represents a unique opportunity. The Boulder/Denver area is arguably the cycling mecca of the United States. From professionals to enthusiasts, the roads are clogged with cyclists who consider cycling a way of life. This, combined with the fact that cycling is done outdoors and therefore needs no additional indoor space for the sport, makes linking biking to the organization's existing educational aims seem a natural progression here in Denver.
There is not a scholar-athlete program in the Denver metro area that uses cycling in the way that Mile High 360 uses squash. There are biking programs, to be sure, but there isn't a program that intentionally uses cycling as the anchor of an educational program to help first-generation scholar-athletes create a viable pathway to college. This program expansion will bring the cycling community's passion to the aid of the students who are ready to enlarge their dreams.
Playing squash wasn't enjoyable when I was in fifth grade, but it has made my ventricular arrhythmia easy to live with and I no longer see myself without this sport. Not only has this program helped improve my physical health, it has given me the experience to travel, and the support I have needed as a first generation college student. Mile High 360 is an important aspect of my life, I still thank my mom for pushing me into joining this program. - Marisol, a Sophomore at CU Denver, joined the program at age 10