REACHA Dialogues #13: Street Squash Founder and CEO Georgy Polsky shares his life story & learnings
Updated: Mar 24, 2022
George Polsky shares his learnings at Harvard University where he did his undergraduate degree. He then goes on to share his journey of 6-7 years after college of different experiences that led him to where he is today......
In this exciting dialogue we touched upon the following:
Main learnings that George had at Harvard University and as he grew up…How did these lead him to think about entering into the social sector and creating Street Squash?
Street squash gives a lot of focus on education of the kids enrolled in the program. How does the model work? What is the overall objective of the program?
What has been the impact of Street Squash in terms of child development?
What are some of the challenges that George faces while running a non profit organization?
George being an active Squash Player and captain of the Harvard Squash team describes how has playing a sport helped/continue to help him in his life?
What are some of the qualities that he looks for in someone, who he would want to be a part of Street Squash?
How does George deal with a situation that involves a lot of pressure, and where the outcome might be uncertain?
Advice that he would like to give to the audience about life/leading a more meaningful life?
Some Key learnings that came out of this dialogue were:
Always being active with giving back to community activities starting from an early age
Importance of feeling the passion for what you do (Circumstances and Upbringing can play a role in this).
Importance of time that George gave to himself after graduating from college and before embarking on the journey of Street Squash. Different experiences helped him a lot and led him to where he is today.
The time when George was a school teacher, he specifically became interested in the kids who were not performing well. He started thinking and questioning as to what was going on in their lives that was stopping them to perform well.
As part of the Social Studies Masters, George was placed to perform field work as part of the course. George got placed in an education center and a psychiatrics ward around NYC area which further helped him to understand the the lives of kids from some of the underprivileged areas.
Oftentimes, we just end up doing the things that have been created in the society based on preset notions. We tend to blindly follow these without questioning them. George shares when he went on to pursue his masters, he really did not know what his end goal was. This helped him to keep his mind free and stay creative. We discussed the importance of having an "open mind" and not being very set on the common notions. Something might come your way that you may have never considered and you can only welcome it if you have an open mind.
Touched upon the importance of Squash in George's life. He has been playing Squash for more than 45 years. Playing Squash has helped him to stay very fit, especially as he is getting older. Squash has helped George to meet people from across the globe. People who play the game becomes very close, as it is relatively a smaller community. It helps you to build special friendships!
Dealing with tough and uncertain situations: There are many times in life when doors are closed, and things look tough and challenging. For George, it was the determination that helped him to keep moving forward. One's attitude, perseverance and tenacity are important qualities to have in order to move forward fearlessly. Important to have the "I am going to get this done" attitude. When you know you are passionate about something, for the love of it, you would not stop and will make things happen.
Be around people who lift you up and see opportunities to do good positive things and who are not focused on "why it can't happen" but rather focus on "why it should happen".