Kush Mahan has played squash since he was young. He earned himself spots on the Zimbabwean Junior National Team and later the South African Junior National Team, and he achieved number-one ranking for a number of age groups throughout his young career. During his undergraduate education, he was a force on the Bates squash team and was named MVP as well as Bates College Male Athlete of the Year his senior year.,
While Kush has seen a great deal of success on the squash court and has worked to make a name for himself, when he is off of the court, his passion lies in non-profit work. For a number of years, Kush Mahan has been heavily involved in a non-profit organization called StreetSquash, Inc., an organization that offers after-school squash lessons/training to children in low-income and underprivileged neighborhoods. Beyond just playing squash, the organization mentors and tutors these youths, who primarily live in the Bronx and Harlem. Kush has served as one of the directors for the organization, spending much of his time helping not only the children who attend StreetSquash but also working on methods of improving the organization and extending its reach.
Kush has experience with grant-writing, haven written a number of grants for StreetSquash and raising upwards of $20,000 for the organization thus far. This grant-writing experience has enabled Kush to greatly expand the boundaries and reach a wider audience by collaborating with the Fund for Public Health in New York. The two organizations have worked to grow the funding for healthcare initiatives within StreetSquash while simultaneously acquiring new public health partnerships for StreetSquash, Inc.
While StreetSquash has been a place that Kush has invested a great deal of time and energy into, he has also used his experience with the organization to branch out to help other organizations, and has contributed to fundraising efforts for, “HOOPS 4 HOPE,” a non-profit with the goal of positively impact the lives of disadvantaged South African youth through a combination of basketball, education and mentoring programs.
Motivated by working with these programs, Kush Mahan has begun to take personal initiative within the world of non-profits. He started by launching the Sports Psychology and Mindfulness Meditation Initiative at StreetSquash, Inc., which aims to decrease the stigma towards mental healthcare and increase its effectiveness in the community. Mindful meditation was a focus of Kush’s psychological research in college, so he had a lot of background knowledge on the topic and was well-equipped to be the force behind this next step within the organization.
More recently Kush Mahan is also in the process of establishing his own non-profit, “MindBright Foundation,” which aims to partner with other well-established non-profits and provide them with the necessary funding to launch mental health initiatives within their organization. MindBright will raise money by hosting a variety of charity/fundraising events within New York City, as well as run campaigns for donations from the public, which they hope to receive a great deal of funding and support from. Non-Profits looking to partner with MindBright will need to send in an application and have a detailed plan laid- out of how they will utilize the funds that MindBright supplies. MindBright hopes to create lasting relationships with these companies that continue to grow and develop their initiative.
Kush Mahan is currently attending Columbia University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Global/Public Health. He hopes one day to work for a global health firm. He will continue to build MindBright during his studies at Columbia and play squash in his free time.