Graduation Cause and Effect Essay

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The Bronx is known to be a low-income community in the process of rebuilding itself and its residents. Many schools provide a series of athletic teams for the student body but yet we see many students not participating and being neglected. Another option the youth within these communities have is recreational youth programs within their community. One of the two sports teams that offer the opportunity of progression and opportunity for students and their academic performance are soccer and squash. The soccer club named “South Bronx United” program aims to ” Use soccer for social change through activities promoting educational achievement, health and wellness, character development, and immigrant services” (South Bronx United, 2015). Another sports team I found is “City Squash” which is a popular sport within an upper-class community but is being introduced to a lower-income community which creates a powerful impact and social change. City Squash aims “To motivate talented young people from economically disadvantaged households to fulfill their academic, athletic, and personal potential” (City Squash, 2019). The importance of outside resources within a community helps students excel in school and create future opportunities. So do sports in low-income communities impact the academic performance of students?

Sports help improve concentration, fitness, and test scores and also discipline a student, which helps improve their academic performance for future years. “In many schools, physical education classes and recess have been squeezed out because of increasing educational demands and tough financial times” (Hellmich, 2011). In the United States, the importance of a child’s physical education or sports participation has been neglected because of the high demand for test score preparation. Students are being neglected the essential introduction to sports within their school and this could be an important element to their success in the future. Both the education system and students will benefit from offering students sports teams. The students’ academic progression will reach high scores eventually leading to high test results complimenting the school itself and helping the school system progress. “Participation in sports teams and physical activity clubs, often organized by the school and run outside of the regular day, can improve grade point average, school attachment, educational aspirations, and the likelihood of graduation” (Hellmich, 2011). As seen studies have been made that participating in sports can cause an increase in graduation rates, if communities that are low income can have access to these necessities of recreational sports then it will result in higher graduation rates. Since schools are neglecting the importance of sports introduction to students many of them turn to community resources.

The Bronx, New York, is a community that has many large school campuses but their high school graduation rate is only 69.90%. To help the community’s academic performance grow it must offer resources for its student residents. The Bronx is also known to be a low-income community and creating programs outside of school will help the academic growth of students in this borough. An issue that is raised by students who depend on community resources to succeed in sports teams is the difficulty of financially paying for them. The group of people that face this issue is the lower-income community, a solution that New York City has created is by providing families who make a minimum requirement with a “fee waiver” for their child to have access to recreational team clubs for free. Although the city provides this advantage many of its residents don’t know this free access and leave their children with no exposure to sports teams outside of school. “Waiver requests soared by 1,200 percent. Participation jumped 31 percent; for children who attend high-poverty schools, it shot up almost 80 percent” (Rosenwald, 2016). Families and students are finding new opportunities and programs to help students be introduced to sports facilities. With the help of waivers, there won’t be a financial barrier between the community’s resources and the student’s academic growth.

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Students being part of community sports teams creates a different form of life especially in low-income communities. The students are put into academic support services such as tutoring and are encouraged to do community services which help them stay away from unsafe environments. As many students grow and progress they are introduced to many stages in life and peer pressure can be one of those things. Allowing students to join programs such as City Squash and South Bronx United will occupy their time wisely become better students and guarantee academic success by 90%. “But city officials say they are weighing those downsides against a growing body of research that says participation in youth sports improves physical and mental health, lowers crime and teen pregnancy rates, and increases college enrollment.” (Rosenwald, 2016) As the article states sports help the youth not only in academic performance but keep them away from the dangers of often-seen struggles, such as drugs, and teen pregnancy, and encourage them to enroll in college.

“City Squash” and “South Bronx United” are two Bronx sports teams that aim to help students in low-income parts of the Bronx become athletes but also support financial, legal, and academic situations for those students and their families. These sports also offer “fee waiver” access which means students do not make payments to be part of the team. City Squash is a sports team that recruits students since the 3rd grade and helps them gain scholarships to high schools and colleges. They work with private colleges such as Fordham University and use their facilities to help the students in that community academically but also introduce them to an upper-class style of sport. Exposure to a different form of sport for a low-income community is essential because it defeats the barrier between social classes. Squash equipment can cost up to $300.00 for basic equipment, without access to a fee waiver for the lower-income community there would be no way that the students would be able to afford it but the city has created these programs to give importance to these types of sports that are not seen in minority communities. City Squash also has a strict academic rule of not having any grades less than a B, if students fail to meet this requirement they are encouraged to stay extra hours within tutoring hours. Although they are a sports club outside of school their main concern is to get the students’ academic performance as high as they can and incorporate the experience of the sport into their life. The club also offers tournaments outside of the city for the students to participate in, this also gives the students exposure to outside environments which is just another advantage that the students have apart from an increase in academic performance. All of these students reside within the Bronx, so getting exposure to outside facilities, perhaps in a different state or environment helps the student's mental growth. All of these opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the organization itself, the community local schools don’t provide sports but they provide their main objective of introducing squash to students.

The other sports team is South Bronx United which is a community sports center that helps recruit students into soccer teams. They also offer “fee waivers” for the students and are connected with the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. South Bronx United also follows a strict rule for their students to maintain a grade point average of at least a C, many of the members of this team are immigrant students and rely on the tutoring services to help their academic performance and eventually graduate. The students don’t just get financial, academic, and sports opportunities but they have had the advantage of meeting many famous soccer players. Many of them Are part of the Women’s USA soccer and many teams such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, New York Red Bulls, and NYCFC. The students are even awarded free soccer tickets if their academically equipped and have met the requirements the organization enforces. This club also travels around the city and even other states to compete in tournaments. South Bronx United and City Squash share the same qualities in how a community organization sport helps students be exposed to sports but also guarantees an excel in their academic performance.

These two programs' main objective is to offer support through sports to help young students through their academic performance. Many of these students must maintain a grade point average to continue in the program, if they fail they are given tutoring services. South Bronx United students have a 100% graduation rate and 90% of these students go off to college. “Thirty-eight students in City Squash have won scholarships to selective prep schools… these team members have been awarded over $5 million in financial aid. City Squash’s first three classes of students have gone on to attend four-year colleges…” (City Squash, 2019). City Squash has a 100% graduation rate and 100% of these students go off to college. Both of these clubs are located in low-income communities but guarantee a 100% graduation rate which is an achievement for students. Exposing students to sports facilities can increase their academic performance and guarantee a successful future. These organizations guarantee graduation rates for their students and even try to get every student to continue their education to college. The organizations prove that providing students with sports participation will guarantee success in their academic future as well as personal future. These results are more influential in communities such as the Bronx because they recognize low-income communities. The Bronx is breaking the barrier of graduation rate by providing its students with sports introduction and academic support. It is also breaking the barrier of what society believes social class sports must attain to, now a low-income community is part of the sport squash which is known to be an upper-class sport. These organizations are making a difference in many student's lives as well as in their communities.

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Graduation Cause and Effect Essay. (2024, February 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
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