Beat the Streets Wrestling Program of Philadelphia

What Does Hero Mean?

Belmont Charter, a school located at 40th and Brown in West Philadelphia, is one of our programs where I have seen amazing acts of devotion and support that have resulted in kids and families truly committing to better themselves.  The surrounding community involves high crime, high drug activity and a general lack of resources for the youth to access during their most critical years.  The school has become an amazing partner and as a result there is high parental involvement, amazing amounts of teacher support and a number of success stories that would otherwise not occur.  I am biased in thinking that wrestling brings a lot to the table in terms of character development, but in reality the activity itself has little to do with the impact that is being made. 

In a community where wrestling has little to no history, the K-8 school has 160 of the less than 500 students that participate in the sport.  Many of those participants also participate in our mentoring program and we are now seeing former students who have successfully transitioned to high school and beyond coming back to help on a consistent basis.  Former students are now able to attend schools such as Central HS, Palumbo HS and William Penn Charter.  Many are about to apply for college and are legitimate candidates for schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown and Bucknell.  None of those kids fit the typical profile for those schools and come from homes that lack the resources generally required to succeed at that level.

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